Dr. Perlin pens commentary on need for health systems to transform data collection to advance health equity
The COVID-19 pandemic has unfairly and disproportionately impacted the health of communities of color and other marginalized groups, shining a light on America’s inequitable healthcare system and public health services. This was evident in increased Black maternal mortality rates, limited access and timeliness of care, and inadequate preventative health programs.
Joint Commission President and CEO Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, penned a commentary in Population Health Management — cowritten with Alonzo L. Plough, PhD, MPH, MA, Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Research-Evaluation-Learning at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — that discusses the need for health systems to use new data collection methods as a way to advance healthcare equity.
“It is time for transformational change in our health care systems to advance long overdue health equity for millions of Americans who are regularly denied equal access to quality health care services,” Drs. Perlin and Plough wrote. “The challenge is that you cannot fix what you do not accurately measure. And today, standard data gathering practices among health systems and hospitals are not only siloed and disconnected, but they also rarely capture broader population level data — including vital race, gender, and social determinants of health (SDOH), like education and access to healthy food and stable housing — needed to address structural racism and the health disparities affecting well-being. The lack of data connectivity between America's health care systems, community health providers, and public health departments has only served to widen America's health equity gap.”
Read the commentary.