to main content Prioritize, Plan and Take Action | The Joint Commission

Prioritize, Plan and Take Action

Addressing health care disparities often involves the coordination of efforts across multiple departments and may include technology solutions, training and education, and new or modified processes. It can be overwhelming for an organization to decide where to focus its efforts to reduce health care disparities, so it is important to prioritize at least one area to address first. Organizations should define the health care disparity and the specific population(s) of focus, the improvement goal, the strategies and resources needed to achieve the goal, and the process that will be used to monitor and report progress. Organizations can then build on the lessons learned from that approach to address additional disparities in the future.


Improving health care equity for the organization’s patients is a quality and safety priority.

EP 4

The organization develops a written action plan that describes how it will improve health care equity by addressing at least one of the health care disparities identified in its patient population.

Some terms used in the requirements will vary by accreditation program. For example, the behavioral health care and human services program uses the term "individual served" as opposed to "patient" that is used in hospital and ambulatory settings.

Learn from Other Organizations

Click on the Snapshots and Soundbites icons to learn how other organizations set priorities, seek the voice of customer, and engage staff in planning and implementation of health care equity related activities.

Preview of Resources

Check out the Snapshots and Soundbites to learn from other organizations on their health care equity journey. Strategies include links to resources such as practical, hands-on tools, worksheets or guidance on creating an action plan to address health disparities. Use the resource center quick links to access Evidence-Based Intervention (EBI) summaries and learn about how your organization can replicate interventions to address specific disparities.