Helping Hospitals Measure Disparities in Their Care

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<p>Emerging evidence indicates that targeted efforts to measure and improve the quality of health care may be able to reduce, or even eliminate, disparities while improving care for all patients. In the Commonwealth Fund report, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26573&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D452681%26%23doc452681">Enhancing Public Hospitals' Reporting of Data on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,</a> researchers at George Washington University assess whether safety net hospitals treating large minority populations can use measures adopted by the Hospital Quality Alliance to collect quality data by patients' race and ethnicity.<br><br>The five public hospitals participating in the study show that, despite some complications, collecting quality data by race and ethnicity is indeed possible. The report, which was prepared by Bruce Siegel, M.D., M.P.H., Marsha Regenstein, Ph.D., and Karen Jones, M.S., also found that these hospitals outperform the U.S. hospital average on several quality measures, and that high performance was mostly consistent across racial and ethnic groups.<br><br>The authors urge hospital accreditors to continue strengthening the reporting of data by race, ethnicity, and language. In addition, they call for a set of standardized measures focused on equity in health care.</p>