The Quintuple Aim in healthcare improvement seeks to enhance the overall health and wellness experience for patients, clinicians and communities. This five-pronged approach focuses on an improved patient experience, enhanced population health, reduced health care costs, better provider and clinician experience and improved health equity. For the purpose of this post, we will focus on the fifth and most recently added “aim”: health equity.
What is Health Equity?
Health equity, fundamentally, underscores the pledge to grant every individual the opportunity to reach their optimal level of well-being.
Historically, health outcomes have been inequitable for different individuals and groups of people. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated some of these existing inequities and prompted leading thought experts to propose an addition to the then quadruple aim focused on health equity in 2021. Since then, it has been a core tenant of healthcare improvement initiatives.
But many challenges exist that healthcare providers must combat when faced with inequity in the communities that they serve. Fortunately, statistical tools can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges. Let’s explore how basic statistical techniques can help to improve health equity.
#1: Identify Disparities
Perhaps the most crucial first step in addressing health inequity is to identify disparities within a population. Statistical analysis can help pinpoint areas where certain groups face more significant health challenges, whether due to socioeconomic factors, race, gender or location. For instance, Minitab can be used to analyze healthcare data to identify regions with higher rates of chronic diseases or lower vaccination rates among vulnerable populations.
#2: Conduct Root Cause Analysis
Once you’ve identified disparities, it’s important to understand what caused them. With regression analysis and automated machine learning, healthcare professionals can determine the key variables that impact health outcomes. Armed with this information, interventions can be attempted and policies can be created that are aimed at reducing health disparities.
Want to learn more? Download our latest eBook, Root Cause Analysis in Healthcare, to explore this topic in more depth.
#3: Monitor Progress
Health equity initiatives require continuous monitoring and evaluation. Statistical process control techniques can be used to track the progress of interventions and ensure they are having the desired impact. By regularly analyzing data, healthcare providers can adjust their strategies as needed to achieve better health outcomes for all. And with Minitab Connect, this data can be kept current and will update automatically at all times.
#4: Make Data-Driven Decisions
Statistics enable healthcare providers to make evidenced-based decisions. Through analyzing data, healthcare professionals can make informed choices about resource allocation, intervention strategies and policy development. This data-centric approach can help to ensure that efforts to reduce health inequity are efficient and effective.
#5: Engage the Community
What rests at the center of any type of improvement initiative in a community-focused issue such as health equity is engagement. Involving the community in healthcare decision-making is essential to achieve health equity. By collaborating with community members, patients and local organizations, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into the unique needs and challenges that people in their communities face. These connections and partnerships can help guide the development of healthcare programs that are responsive to the community's concerns and preferences.
Boosting health equity is a big goal, but there are plenty of steps healthcare providers can take to get started.
And here's the great part: if you're already using Minitab or thinking about it, our team of experts and training resources are here to support you every step of the way. If you're not sure where to start, chances are our experts have helped organizations just like yours with similar goals (Minitab also offers self-paced training).
No matter what kind of health challenges you're addressing, whether they're on a large or small scale, Minitab provides the statistical tools and know-how to help you reach your goals.