WATCH: The data we need for more equitable care

Healthcare institutions across the country are putting equity at the heart of their work, hiring equity officers and pledging to close gaps in outcomes and access. But how can we improve health equity if we aren’t measuring what matters? 

Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) brought together experts to discuss issues of data and measurement in the latest edition of their National Health Equity Grand Rounds series. 

Event panelists included Lown Institute President Dr. Vikas Saini, Dr. Elena Mendez-Escobar (Boston Medical Center), Linda Villarosa (journalist, educator, and contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine), and Dr. Ryan Petteway (OHSU-PSU School of Public Health). 

“What [data] can do is create additional vehicles for people who want change…to take on the challenge of structural racism in the country.”

-Dr. Vikas Saini

The panelists tackled some of the most pressing questions related to data, metrics, and the path forward for equity in medicine, such as:

  • How can we leverage data to better understand the experiences and outcomes of all patients?
  • What does it look like to measure what matters?
  • How can we move from research to action?
  • How do we make sense of data overload in the 21st century?
  • What should medical students and young health care professionals know about the future of equity in medicine?

“We view this as a time for a new paradigm [in healthcare]…the key issues are equity, accountability, and the value of care.”

– Dr. Vikas Saini