Improving health and health care worldwide requires a focus on equity — equity of access, treatments, and outcomes. Health equity is realized when each individual has a fair opportunity to achieve their full health potential.
Differences in access, treatment, and outcomes between individuals and across populations that are systemic, avoidable, predictable, and unjust are particularly problematic for quality improvers. These types of differences are often referred to as inequities or disparities. Inequities are the worst type of unwanted variation in a system — variation linked to the complicated history and reality of racism, classism, sexism, ableism, ageism, and other forms of oppression. Quality improvers have a role to play and a set of tools to use in health care systems and communities to remediate inequities.
IHI strives for a future free of health inequities and is committing its tools, talents, and team to this essential human pursuit. IHI aims to achieve health equity by working in collaboration with organizations, communities, and individuals to accelerate the elimination of inequities in health and health care access, treatment, and outcomes across our nation.
Together, we can make the improvements needed to achieve health equity.
Health Equity: Prioritization, Perception, and Progress
In July 2021, IHI conducted an industry poll to better understand current attitudes and perceptions surrounding health equity work in the United States, and to identify challenges that health care delivery organizations encounter while working to advance health equity.
Learn more about the IHI 2021 Pulse Report >>