Equal Care

What is Equal Care?

Achieving equality in health means eliminating unequal treatment or health care disparities. Unequal outcomes can occur across many dimensions including socioeconomic status, age, geography (neighborhood), gender, disability status, or sexual orientation.

Why isn’t equal care enough?

Over a decade since the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) report, Unequal Treatment, and ten decades since the Flexner Report, racial/ethnic disparities in care quality persist.1Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.2The Flexner Report–100 years laterEnsuring every patient receives the same high standard of care is a critical first step to achieving equity, but it is not enough. Eliminating health care disparities or unequal treatment alone will not eliminate health disparities.

“Health equity is a really important derivative of our Blueprint for Quality and Safety and we developed a Blueprint for Equity as well as part of the process. Health equity to me is about ensuring all patients are treated in the way that they need to be treated without regard to their personal characteristics, where they’re from, the color of their skin, who they love, how they worship, or any differences that some might feel distinguish them from others in our society. Those should not be relevant to us as we treat our patients. We should be inclusive and welcoming and delivering the same high level of care. That’s really what Penn Medicine strives for, for all of our patients.”

-PJ Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System

What you can do

Recognize and understand why different populations experience differences in health care quality and work to minimize their impact.

Recognize and understand why different populations experience differences in health outcomes and learn more about how to advance equity.

Key Partnerships