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Michigan hospitals partner to find inequities in care for pediatric patients

dmc hospital detroit
Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio
The outside of a Hospital

Three of Michigan’s largest children’s hospitals have partnered to find inequities in child care.

As part of a group called the Michigan Child Health Equity Collaborative, Detroit-based Children's Hospital of Michigan, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, and Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids have partnered to identify "differences in how patients and their families are treated relative to their gender, race and ethnicity, income, ability status, sexual orientation, weight status and more."

The collaboration will first use focus groups to identify inequities, then focus on how well the hospitals are documenting the inequities, and then finally work to create quality improvement projects to reduce or eliminate inequities.

The focus group stage recently finished, said Helen Devos Medical Director for Quality, Safety, and Experience Dr. Adam Nicholson.

“As part of the collaborative, we have just completed focus group interviews of multidisciplinary teams at each of the three participating children's hospitals. The goal of those focus groups was really to pull together health care team members to really start to understand if we have inequalities in care that are observed by health care team members," Nicholson said.

Each hospital will share topics for study, research methods, data and quality improvement strategies.

Dr. Gary Freed, the partnership founder and a pediatrician at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said the project will improve patient care.

“We believe that if we can look for and find those biases or the ways in which we, the healthcare system, might treat people inequitably, then we can put protocols into place or do quality improvements to help make things better," Freed said.

Corewell Health is among Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.
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