IBM Watson Health to add community health, equity measures to future rankings through Johns Hopkins partnership

IBM Watson Health partnered with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Bloomberg American Health Initiative and Center for Health Equality to reduce disparities in healthcare and encourage hospitals to focus more on equity when assessing performance, according to Fortune.

The collaboration aims to identify meaningful community health and equity measures that will factor into IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals rankings. The partners are searching for examples of how hospitals and health systems across the U.S. are addressing equity issues.

For example, Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospital and Wayne State University Department of Emergency Medicine collaborated on the “Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday” program to train violence intervention specialists to connect with violence survivors and prevent repeat injury.

“We have an opportunity to recognize and socialize these innovative models in an effort to help bridge the gaps that exist in many communities,” wrote the article’s authors. “Our goal is to make these great efforts as commonplace as the hospital gift shop.”

IBM Watson Health and Johns Hopkins are following in the footsteps of the initiatives former Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson began in advocating for community health and equity. Before Mr. Tyson’s death in 2019, he highlighted issues such as violence, food insecurity, access to education and homelessness as important issues for healthcare organizations to address.

Vice President and Chief Health Officer of IBM Kyu Rhee, MD, Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative Joshua Sharfstein, MD, and Associate Director or Policy at the Hopkins Center for Health Equity Rachel Thornton, MD, authored the article in Fortune.

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