Skip to main content

Health Equity

Advancing Health Equity for All

Data is the key needed to address health and health care disparities and achieve health equity. Health equity is the strategic priority for the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE), as outlined in its Strategic Plan. VHIE is well-positioned to assist in addressing health equity needs across Vermont and within local communities through its current structure and future enhancements. Health equity involves ensuring everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve optimal health, irrespective of factors like race, ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status.

The HIE strives to improve our collection and use of comprehensive, interoperable, standardized individual-level demographic and SDoH data. As stated in CMS Framework for Health Equity 2022–2032, increasing our understanding of the needs of those we serve, including social risk factors and changes in communities’ needs over time, gives us instruments to leverage quality improvement and ensure all individuals have access to equitable care and coverage.

Health Equity Data Matters

Identifying Disparities: Health equity data helps in identifying disparities in health outcomes among different populations, enabling healthcare providers and policymakers to understand who is most affected by certain health issues.

Improving Healthcare Delivery: Health equity data is instrumental in enhancing healthcare by providing providers with crucial insights into disparities, informing targeted policies, and enabling culturally competent care that improves access, quality, and satisfaction. It empowers providers to tailor healthcare delivery to meet diverse needs, leading to more equitable resource distribution and increased patient trust. Through ongoing analysis, health equity data ensures continuous service improvement and supports the overarching aim of achieving societal fairness in health outcomes.

Improving Healthcare Workforce Equity and Diversity:  Health equity data also contributes to workforce equity by highlighting the need for a diverse healthcare workforce that can deliver culturally responsive care, promoting recruitment from underrepresented groups, and ensuring equitable career advancement opportunities within healthcare institutions, ultimately leading to a more inclusive health system that understands and serves the full spectrum of community health needs

Improving Mental Health Care: Health equity data further enhances mental healthcare by uncovering disparities in mental health services across different populations, guiding the development of culturally sensitive mental health programs, and ensuring that resources are allocated to support mental well-being in all communities, particularly those historically underserved or at greater risk of mental health disparities.

Informing Policy and Decision-Making: By highlighting areas of inequity, this data can inform policy decisions and resource allocation to ensure that interventions are targeted where they are most needed.

Promoting Preventative Measures: When data shows that certain populations are at a higher risk for certain conditions, targeted preventative measures can be put in place to address these risks.

Promoting Social Justice: Addressing health inequities is a matter of social justice. By working towards equity in health, society moves closer to ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to achieve their full health potential, regardless of social or economic status.