During the 2021 National Quality Forum Annual Conference, titled “The Care We Need: Driving Better Health Outcomes for People and Communities,” presenters from around the country addressed topics of health equity, structural racism, and the perpetuation of disparities and mistrust. The presenters represented diverse individual perspectives and professional and personal experiences that provided meaningful context to the subjects discussed.
Most of the speakers called for embedding equity in quality measures, the healthcare system, and all systems in general. Speakers pointed out the exacerbation of disparities and inequities by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They suggested that, without first addressing equity, core healthcare issues such as costs, accessibility, and quality cannot be fundamentally addressed.