Julie Orban is a research associate at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
In today’s complex health care environment, given that stakeholders and policy experts commonly expect demonstrable evidence of quality, accountability and improvement, measurement has become an integral part of doing business. Now that social mission has been identified as part of the mission of health professions education, there is a desire to obtain and quantify data to advance health equity and reduce health disparities. The measurement of social mission performance in health professions schools is nascent. Various organizations such as THEnet and ASPIRE have pioneered the development of measurement tools. There is promising consistency in the philosophies that govern the measurement tools of these two organizations and leadership at schools using these tools have described great benefits in going through the assessment process. However, usage has been mostly limited to medical schools rather than health professions schools in general, and the tools themselves are primarily targeted to schools looking to excel in social mission, rather than all comers.