With funding from the Connecticut Health Foundation, Griffin Hospital in Derby plans to pilot new approaches to providing care as a way to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities among their patients. The project was designed based on examinations of the health outcomes for patients by race and ethnicity – a critical step in identifying and addressing disparities. The grant grew out of a request by the Connecticut Health Foundation for health systems to use quality metrics to track disparities, implement interventions, and measure improvements.
At Griffin Health – which includes Griffin Hospital and Griffin Faculty Physicians, its affiliated primary care provider – an analysis of patient data indicated that patients of color were more likely to have uncontrolled diabetes than white patients. In addition, patients of color covered by Medicare were less likely to have completed an annual wellness visit compared to white patients. Griffin Health plans to expand its primary care team to include a clinical pharmacist and community health worker, and will expand the team’s focus on factors outside medicine that affect health, such as whether patients have enough food, stable housing, and reliable transportation. The changes are aimed at improving patients’ diabetes control and use of annual wellness visits.