Sustained Reduction in Health Disparities Achieved through Targeted Quality Improvement: One-Year Follow-up on a Three-Year Intervention

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Abstract

Objective.

To assess a quality improvement disparity reduction intervention and its sustainability.

Data Sources/Study Setting.

Electronic health records and Quality Index database of Clalit Health Services in Israel (2008–2012).

Study Design.

Interrupted time-series with pre-, during, and postintervention disparities measurement between 55 target clinics (serving approximately 400,000 mostly low socioeconomic, minority populations) and all other (126) clinics.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods.

Data on a Quality Indicator Disparity Scale (QUIDS-7) of 7 indicators, and on a 61-indicator scale (QUIDS-61).

Principal Findings.

The gap between intervention and nonintervention clinics for QUIDS-7 decreased by 66.7 percent and by 70.4 percent for QUIDS-61. Disparity reduction continued (18.2 percent) during the follow-up period.

Conclusions.

Quality improvement can achieve significant reduction in disparities in a wide range of clinical domains, which can be sustained over time.

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