BY COLLEEN MORLEY, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM
Continuing my review of some excellent repositories of knowledge dedicated to evidence-based initiatives, I will use the theme of this issue, “Health Disparities,” to check out the websites for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Healthy People 2030, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). My closing comments on my previous “road trip” noted that I would be visiting different sites, but upon further research, I felt these were more appropriate for this issue’s theme.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
I discovered IHI during my DNP journey and have referred to it countless times. (As a matter of fact, I just completed a quality management program through this resource.) IHI’s focus is on improving the quality of healthcare, and they identify themselves as “recognized innovator, convener, and generous leader, a trustworthy partner, and the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better” (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2022).
With written reports, video, audio and blog options, the IHI Open School offers a plethora of education on topics and subtopics related to health disparities. The “Health Equity” home page is a great starting point and will take you from beginning education to deeper knowledge into each topic. Current online courses include “Improving Health Equity” and “Building Skills for Anti-Racism Work”; articles highlighted include “The Quintuple Aim for Healthcare Improvement: A New Imperative to Advance Health Equity.”
Healthy People 2030
The Healthy People site is a favorite of mine, especially in relation to discussions on the impact of social determinants of health. Reducing health disparities has been an objective of the Healthy People project since the Healthy People 2000 objectives were released.
Navigating the site is relatively easy, by objective, priority area or using the search bar. Additionally, evidence-based resources are available under “Tools for Action.” On the “Health Equity” priority area page, there is a one-stop access area for related objectives, data, evidence-based resources, frameworks and associated definitions. A wealth of information and practices!
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
“RWJF’s signature research programs are helping to identify the root causes of health disparities in America, and potential solutions to improve health, equity and well-being.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2022). Health disparities information on the RWJF site is housed on the Healthy Communities page. Under “Recent Content,” the visitor can search by “all types,” “research and analysis,” “news and perspectives” and “multimedia.” The multimedia tab has excellent infographics available to illustrate different concepts.
The “RWJF Retrospectives” area is a collection of topic-based reports looking back at previous programs for impact and outcomes. The “Research, Evaluation and Learning” page has live links to apply for grant-funding for projects with a health equity focus. (Don’t be afraid of grant applications!)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC’s “What is Health Equity” page is a great starting place for this site. They note that “CDC is transforming its public health research, surveillance and implementation science efforts to expand beyond listing the markers of health inequities to identifying and addressing the drivers of these disparities. Through the CORE strategy, CDC is integrating health equity as a foundational element across our work – from science and research to programs” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022).
CORE Strategy stands for the four CORE goals:
C: Cultivate comprehensive health equity science
O: Optimize interventions
R: Reinforce and expand robust partnerships
E: Enhance capacity and workforce engagement
This page also contains live links to trainings on implicit bias and cultural competence, as well as access to the “Conversations in Equity” blog.
I hope you are enjoying our electronic road trip as much as I am. In the next issue, look for the final installment with a few more sites for evidence-based practices related to that issue’s topic. Remember, there is more than health disparities information at these reviewed sites and more health disparities information on other sites as well. Tools for your toolbox are just the tip of the iceberg! What are you doing around reducing health disparities? Suggestions for other sites for reference or review in future articles?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). What is health equity. https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/whatis/index.html
Healthy People 2030 (2022). Health Equity. https://health.gov/healthypeople/search?query=health+equity
Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2022). Health Equity. https://www.ihi.org/Topics/Health-Equity/Pages/default.aspx
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2022). Health Disparities. https://www.rwjf.org/en/our-focus-areas/topics/health-disparities.html
Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, is current president of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors and principal of Altra Healthcare Consulting in Chicago. She has held positions in acute care as director of case management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois for more than 14 years while piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management.
Her current passion is in improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. She has recently authored her 1st book, A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management, published by Blue Bayou Press.
Dr. Morley has more than 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include med/surg, oncology and pediatric nursing. She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois; BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida: MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont; and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.
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