What Is EQUIP?
EQUIP Healthcare is multi-component, organization-level intervention designed to enhance the capacity of primary health care (PHC) clinics to provide equity-oriented care, particularly for marginalized populations.
By health equity, we mean the absence of avoidable or remediable differences in health among groups of people. Heath equity is not the same as health equality. It builds on the idea of patient-centered care by focusing on strategies that can ‘close the health equity gap.’ This means paying particular attention to people who are experiencing the greatest health challenges. Please see About Us for more information on health equity, and why it’s an important focus in health care.
Over the past several years, the EQUIP research team has worked in partnership with a number of community health clinics across Canada to study the impact of enhancing healthcare for patients experiencing health and social inequities.
The EQUIP intervention is based on four interconnected dimensions of equity-oriented care (trauma and violence informed care, culturally safe care, contextually tailored care, and harm-reduction) and 10 strategies to guide organizations in enhancing their capacity to provide equity-oriented services, as depicted in the Figure below:
The EQUIP Healthcare project is made up of three interrelated studies:
Study A: how do we measure equity?
This study focuses on the identification, refinement and operationalization of equity sensitive Primary Health Care (PHC) indicators relevant for marginalized populations;
Study B: how can equity be translated into administration, care, and other practices of primary health care clinics?
This study measures the impact of an innovative, complex, multi-component intervention that explicitly aims to promote health equity for marginalized populations at four diverse PHC agencies (in BC and ON), using a participatory, mixed methods, multiple case study design;
Study C: how does equity in primary health care link to the broader context of social justice?
This study analyzes the policy and funding contexts using a social justice and equity framework to determine the gaps to be addressed, and opportunities to foster equity-oriented interventions in the PHC context.
While EQUIP is now in the final stages of research, new projects building upon the lessons learned have already begun!