Previously published as: British Journal of Clinical Governance
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare
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|Title:||Parallels and distinctions between health care quality improvement and health care disparities reduction|
|Author(s):||Wally R. Smith, (Center on Health Disparities, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)|
|Citation:||Wally R. Smith, (2007) "Parallels and distinctions between health care quality improvement and health care disparities reduction", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 12 Iss: 3, pp.191 - 200|
|Keywords:||Health services, Quality improvement, United States of America|
|Article type:||Conceptual paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14777270710775918 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This paper aims to compare and contrast quality improvement in the domain of health care disparities with quality improvement in other domains.
Design/methodology/approach – The author provides a descriptive essay and review to put forward the findings of their research.
Findings – In the USA, health care quality improvement systems have largely been accepted and institutionalized. Most if not all hospital and health care systems now have quality monitoring and improvement teams. In contrast, despite a plethora of stark reports in the literature showing that the US health care system has failed to deliver health care with equity when the care of Whites is compared with that of racial and ethnic minorities, there is not a parallel health care disparities improvement system in most health care settings.
Practical implications – Paralleling many steps that have been taken to improve quality in general, health care workers and health systems must take steps to improve structures and processes of care to reduce health care disparities.
Originality/value – Pinpoints some important distinctions between improving structures and processes of care related to health care disparities, and those related to other aspects of quality improvement. Doing so will save lives, and in the process improve overall quality.
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