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Why Is It Important to Reduce Disparities?

Beth Averbeck, MD; Associate Medical Director for Primary Care, HealthPartners

 Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss one organization’s journey toward measuring and reducing health care disparities.
  • Explain the demographic changes that are affecting health care disparities.
  • Identify one way HealthPartners engaged staff in disparities work.
Description: HealthPartners, an integrated health system in Minnesota, has been at the forefront of reducing disparities in health care. Starting in the 1980s, HealthPartners recognized the need to provide quality care equitably across populations, including vulnerable populations such as refugee groups.
In this video, Beth Averbeck, MD, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care at HealthPartners, describes the organization’s journey toward measuring and reducing health disparities and explains why health systems across the United States will increasingly need to address disparities in their care.
Discussion Questions:
  1. What do you think were some of the challenges for HealthPartners as it sought to provide care for new refugees?
  2. What are some of the consequences of not working with new immigration populations to ensure they receive equitable care?
  3. How did electronic health records and data collection on health disparities help HealthPartners improve? Can you think of other ways health systems could use technology and/or data to help address disparities?
  4. How do you think changes in the demographics of a community can affect health equity? Have you seen demographic changes in your community affect health equity?
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