Health Disparities Improvement Toolkit

Wisconsin has led the way nationally in improving health care quality. However, there are widespread disparities in health outcomes and care. The Centers for Disease Control defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socials disadvantaged populations.”1 There is an urgent need to reduce disparities that may have been magnified due to fluctuations in unemployment, health insurance, lapses in education, long-term COVID-19 disability, and increased incidence, severity, and complexity of behavioral health needs in all communities.

Healthy Metric, a partnership between The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), UW Madison’s Health Innovation Program (HIP), Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), and the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), we collaborate to produce and report out on health disparities across Wisconsin and use our reports to influence care across the state. All of this work is made possible by a grant through the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

The Objective

The objective of this toolkit is to share resources that health system and community partners utilize. The resources we have collected and proven to be helpful are then cataloged in one central place. We encourage you to utilize these resources throughout your work as you work to improve care and decrease disparities in health outcomes throughout Wisconsin. Health systems across the state also share best practices and implementation of changes with their workflows and policies throughout the state to share how they have improved care and implemented change.

Intended Audience

This toolkit is intended for a range of healthcare providers, community organizations, community partners, paraprofessionals, and people who receive healthcare to make a difference in improving healthcare disparities across the State of Wisconsin. The toolkit can serve as a resource collection and library for disparities improvement for anyone interested in this work. This toolkit can also be used as a platform for health systems to share best practices through case studies of workflow changes that have worked for them in the past to improve disparities, along with what they have learned to improve quality for populations experiencing disparities. Improving healthcare quality for special populations is correlated with improving healthcare outcomes and decrease in risking chronic conditions. The intention is not to print off the toolkit, but rather to have a catalog of resources that can support the work of improving healthcare disparities.
Questions about the Toolkit

WCHQ welcomes your questions and comments about this toolkit, which is intended to advance collaborative learning, open sharing, and collective improvement. Please contact the WCHQ at