By Broderick Rhyant, M.D.
Chief physician executive, Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor
Indiana University Health, Eskenazi Health and Community Health Network launched the “We Ask Because We Care” campaign last month. The campaign highlights why it is important for health care organizations to gather patient information on race, ethnicity and language (often referred to as “REaL” data) and how it helps ensure that everyone receives the highest level of care.
These local participating health networks believe health disparities are a very real threat to the health and well-being of the neighborhoods they serve and believe this is an important collaboration that will confront many important issues facing our community.
The ‘We Ask Because We Care’ campaign is centered around providing the highest quality of personalized care by better understanding our diverse patient population and their unique needs.
Without accurate baseline data about their race, ethnicity and language, it’s impossible to really understand the specific nature and drivers of racial and ethnic disparities in patients’ experiences and outcomes of care. It’s critical that we measure the size of these disparity gaps and monitor our progress in closing those gaps over time. Equity reports allow the participating health care providers to compare quality outcomes across demographics for each service line and region.
The pandemic brought forth many challenges including re-emphasizing disparities of health in our community, and the ‘We Ask Because We Care’ campaign is centered on providing the highest quality of personalized care by better understanding our diverse patient population and their unique needs.
Having this information available on a broad scale will help the health systems know more about the communities they serve and the additional services they can provide to keep Indiana as healthy as it can be. By working together, we can help team members and patients understand why this information is so important to improve the quality of care and to move the needle on health equity.
The new patient reporting system will be accompanied by extensive training on unconscious bias for each of the hospital’s workforces. The participating hospitals also are taking proactive measures to reevaluate and advance hiring policies, salaries, retention efforts and procurement policies to better reflect diversity, equity and inclusion.
The promotional efforts around this campaign include a radio spot that will run in both English and Spanish on Central Indiana radio stations as well as other informative materials that will be available in physician offices, outpatient clinics and surgery centers. Registrars also will soon be provided printed information to help patients request interpretation services in more than two dozen languages.
Learn more by visiting:
- Community Health Network: ecommunity.com/diversity-equity-inclusion
- Eskenazi Health: eskenazihealth.edu/we-ask-because-we-care We Ask Because We Care
IU Health: iuhealth.org/whyweask