The joint commission on January 6th, 2017 released a brochure on ways that could be used to eliminate Health Care disparities. The brochure was a signal sent out by the commission to leaders of different Healthcare systems in the United States. Since the year 2002, the Joint commission has been in the front line to create and initiate Health Equity in all Health Care systems but despite this, the real implementation of these initiatives have been noted in healthcare organizations they accredit.
The Joint Commission with the American Hospital Association hosted a forum to promote Health Equity; this was to motivate hospitals to foster with this endeavor. Some of these Hospitals include the America’s Essential Hospitals which was the first to initiate an online module that collects race data, the module is known as The REAL training Module,it registers staff to identify any disparities and hence resolve them appropriately (joint commission, n.d). On the other hand, Kaiser Permanente also created a holistic care program, which entails home visits, phone assessments and references to involved community Health Care agencies (joint commission, n.d).
The Henry Ford Health System also developed a campaign of 3 years that addressed the numerous sources of inequity in Health Care delivery (joint commission, n.d). This involved raising awareness and promoting cross-cultural communication using different tools. E.g. language accessibility and having appropriate health literacy. Thus from this, patient communication with the Health Care providers was improved by the development of this culturally competent Healthcare provision. The Henry Ford Health System formulated questions that promoted rapport and more so effective communication between the care providers and the patients. E.g. asking the patient’s race, ethnicity, and his or her preferred language (The Joint Commission, n.d).
The Joint Commission encourages the Hospitals that are in the forefront to improve Health Care Equity as they are aimed at the same goal of eliminating these disparities; this began almost 15 years ago. With the America’s Essential Hospitals Organization embracing diversification of staff, health disparities are getting easy to eliminate. The diversity was put in place in hiring and allocating staff in accordance with the communities, they were to give services to. Due to this, it is with great hope that Joint Commission sees the national embracing of discussions and strategies to eliminate this common Health Care provision enemy.
This brochure highlights changes and formulas used by different Health Systems that could be adopted by other Health Care providers to ease off Health disparities from their organizations. This is a notable achievement in trying to emphasize the need of eliminating Health disparities. However, the Joint Commission could have in a more clear way highlighted the main disparities in the Health Systems and even so their solutions. This would have helped the reader to expand his or her knowledge of the disparities he or she is likely to encounter within the Hospitals.
This is a very sensitive topic because most patients will not even attend return clinics if they encountered any disparities during their first visit. The information laid in this Brochure is helpful to both the patients and the care providers. This is because it can help the patient understand the need to respond appropriately to the questions posed by the care provider while trying to identify any disparities. Hence, the information can be used to educate the patient and enlighten him or her about various disparities that could cause ineffective communication and health care delivery.
The brochure is in accordance with the current research to eliminate health care disparities, especially in nursing. Nursing is tasked to retain and recruit more culturally diversified working force; this is due to how the demographics of the United States are in constant change (Philips & Malone, 2014). According to this research conducted in the year 2014 by Janice M. Philips and Beverly Malone, it is extremely important for nurses’ taskforces to be culturally diversified to cover the gap created by changing demographics. This has been echoed in this brochure of the Joint commission as the need to diversify the staff of Health Systems in accordance with the present communities.
This topic addressed by the Brochure is highly beneficial to all the leaders of Health systems in the task of eliminating disparities in their institutions. However, the information can also be beneficial to students especially nursing students because it highlights the need for implementing existing and new strategies of curbing disparities in health care provision. The information in this brochure also will promote patient safety because it is easy for a health care provider to mismanage a patient in the presence of a disparity-especially language barrier-than when there is a good rapport between the two.
With hospitals, adopting different methods to eliminate disparities in their care provision there is much improvement in the care provided due to good communication and rapport between the patients and the care providers. However, there is a need for each hospital to diversify its staff; this will open up the services to the patients in a more easy way. Staff also can undertake courses that promote their knowledge in this line, more so health systems should start the campaign to help highlight and resolve any disparities patients could have experienced. Health system leaders should borrow and adopt tactics from these highlighted health institutions to curb disparities and create a more patient-based care. This will be both beneficial to the patients and the care providers by making work easier while trying to identify the patient’s medical conditions.
Phillips, J. M.& Malone, B. (2014). Increasing Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Nursing to Reduce Health Disparities and Achieve Health Equity. Public Health Reports,129(1_suppl2), 45-50. doi:10.1177/00333549141291s209
The Joint Commission. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2017, from