Minnesota is leading the way in measuring vaccine equity. And we’re part of it.

Why is measuring vaccine equity so important? Because good COVID-19 policy is equitable COVID-19 policy. Our organization has partnered with other major health systems and the Minnesota Department of Health on a new data-sharing project that is measuring vaccine equity and informing vaccine distribution policies.

The partnership is called the Minnesota Electronic Health Record (EHR) Consortium and here’s how its vaccine measurement project works:

  1. We create a standardized summary report for all of our patients who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Every other participating health system also create the same standardized summary report for their patients who’ve received a vaccine.
  2. All of this data is then sent to a central site for aggregation and analysis, giving our state a more comprehensive view of which populations are getting vaccinated. It’s the first-of-its-kind model in the nation.
  3. In the future, this model will be used to glean other important health insights.

The findings so far

The project doesn’t capture all the vaccines administered to-date. But it does capture nearly 90 percent of vaccines administered in Minnesota to-date, and it’s identified some emerging inequities. The data will be published on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. See chart right, and find the latest numbers here.

How we’re addressing inequities

Numbers like these show why we’re dedicated to improving vaccine equity — and that we’ve got a lot of work ahead. So far, we have been using a variety of outreach efforts to connect with patients who may be hesitant to get vaccinated or face barriers to scheduling an appointment – including translating invitations in multiple languages, texting invitations to patients and making personalized phone calls.

Since deploying these outreach tactics, we’ve seen a 120 percent increase in vaccination rate for patients of color across our system. Using data as our guide, including insights gleaned from the Minnesota EHR Consortium, we will continue to build on this success.

How colleagues can help

Right now, education can help eliminate health disparities across our organization and state. A few resources to review, include:

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