The “Waze” of Inequity Reduction Frameworks for Organizations: a Scoping Review

Feb 07, 2019 | Spitzer-Shohat

BACKGROUND: Different conceptual frameworks guide how an organization can change its policies and practices to make care and outcomes more equitable for patients, and how the organization itself can become more equitable. Nonetheless, healthcare organizations often struggle with implementing these frameworks.

OBJECTIVE: To assess what guidance frameworks for health equity provide for organizations implementing interventions to make care and outcomes more equitable.

STUDY DESIGN: Fourteen inequity frameworks from scoping literature review 2000-2017 that provided models for improving disparities in quality of care or outcomes were assessed. We analyzed how frameworks addressed key implementation factors: (1) outer and inner organizational contexts; (2) process of translating and implementing equity interventions throughout organizations; (3) organizational and patient outcomes; and (4) sustainability of change over time.

PARTICIPANTS: We conducted member check interviews with framework authors to verify our assessments.

KEY RESULTS: Frameworks stressed assessing the organization’s outer context, such as population served, for tailoring change strategies. Inner context, such as existing organizational culture or readiness for change, was often not addressed. Most frameworks did not provide guidance on translation of equity across multiple organizational departments and levels. Recommended evaluation metrics focused mainly on patient outcomes, leaving organizational measures unassessed. Sustainability was not addressed by most frameworks.

CONCLUSIONS: Existing equity intervention frameworks often lack specific guidance for implementing organizational change. Future frameworks should assess inner organizational context to guide translation of programs across different organizational departments and levels and provide specific guidelines on institutionalization and sustainability of interventions.

PubMed Abstract

Spitzer-Shohat, S., & Chin, M. H. (2019). The "Waze" of Inequity Reduction Frameworks for Organizations: a Scoping Review. J Gen Intern Med. doi:10.1007/s11606-019-04829-7