Improving Health Equity: Guidance for Health Care Organizations

Eight US health care organizations — diverse in size, geographic location, and patient populations — participated in the two-year Pursuing Equity initiative, led by IHI, from 2017 to 2019. A second cohort of 22 health care organizations participated from 2020 to 2022.

To guide their efforts to improve health equity, these organizations used the five-component framework first articulated in the 2016 IHI White Paper, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations.

The learning and experience of Pursuing Equity teams has been harvested in several resources:

  • Guides for the five framework components: Strategies, examples of specific improvements tested, lessons learned, challenges and mitigation strategies, and tools and resources
    • Make Equity a Strategic Priority
    • Build Infrastructure to Support Health Equity
    • Address the Multiple Determinants of Health
    • Eliminate Racism and Other Forms of Oppression
    • Partner with the Community to Improve Health Equity
  • Improving Health Equity: Assessment Tool for Health Care Organizations: Evaluate current health equity efforts and determine where to focus improvements
  • Health System Team Summary Reports: Summaries of each team's equity improvement work and learning from the Pursuing Equity initiative
  • Case Study: COVID-19 Vaccine Equity: North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team prioritized COVID-19 vaccine equity as part of their overall equity efforts

These resources aim to support health systems in improving health equity by providing practical tips, building will for health care’s role in championing equity, and presenting examples for how to use the IHI framework to organize equity improvement efforts.

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