• Innovation in Action

Oct 2, 2023

Missouri Hospital’s Health Equity Team Takes Steps to Address Its High Social Vulnerability Score

Cedar County Memorial Hospital image

Cedar County Memorial Hospital in Missouri used disparities reports they received as an HQIC participating hospital to identify that their community had a high social vulnerability score. To further understand and address this situation, their health equity team added social drivers of health screening questions to their social workers assessment.

The health equity team, which includes a social worker, nurse manager, chief nursing officer and quality improvement specialist, created a draft of the updated screening and asked medical staff to review it. After approval, the screening was immediately incorporated into routine social worker assessments.

In addition to creating the social drivers of health questionnaire, Cedar County Memorial Hospital provided health equity education to both staff and leadership. They collaborated with registration staff to create written information and a video on collecting REAL data, and shared articles for review and discussion with leadership and the board of directors.

Cedar County Memorial also implemented resources and checklists they received as a participant in Health Quality Innovator’s (HQI) Health Equity Network (HEN) workgroup to ensure they were on the right track in their work.

Looking ahead, Chris Roe, Utilization Review and Quality Assurance Nurse at Cedar County Memorial Hospital, said they are creating a community resource book and pamphlets to share with patients who have specific identified needs. They are also waiting for approval to launch the hospital’s first health equity statement.

“All staff should be educated and know about health equity, and it needs to be a cross-collaborative endeavor within a hospital,” Chris said.

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