High-achieving hospital: Overlake Medical Center – Health disparities and health equity

January 17, 2018

Overlake Medical Center is demonstrating leadership in health equity. Two years ago, they created a dashboard to stratify readmissions and length of stay by race/ethnicity, zip code and gender for use by senior leadership to identify disparities in readmissions. By using this tool, they have been able to identify that patients who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native have higher readmission rates. They also found male patients across all races/ethnicities have higher rates of readmissions than female patients. The senior leadership team has been considering this data as they plan work to promote health equity. They also plan to broaden the internal distribution of the dashboard and to expand the use of it as part of their overall strategy to reduce disparities. They would like to improve their data collection to better identify the population they serve at a more granular level. This will enable them to begin training providers and staff to provide culturally-sensitive care. The continued use of the dashboard will allow them to see what impact their efforts are having on reducing disparities.

Overlake Medical Center also completed a staff survey to assess how well the staff composition matches the community served. This survey, conducted in 2016, found that staff race/ethnicity identification was a close match to their patient population. The senior leadership team plans to include an ongoing assessment of employee diversity in the overall strategy to reduce disparities and assure health equity. (Jennifer Graves)



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Washington State Hospital Association
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