Is There a Right Way to Collect Racial and Ethnic Data?

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<p>While most patients agree it is important for health care providers to collect and track data on race, ethnicity, and language, many are uncomfortable when asked for this information themselves. But according to a new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20187&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D333638%26%23doc333638">Commonwealth Fund-supported study</a>, patients become more at ease when they know exactly why this information is being asked of them.<br><br>In interviewing 220 clinic patients, researchers led by Northwestern University's David W. Baker, M.D., found that people were most comfortable knowing that racial and ethnic data would be used to monitor and ensure quality of care for all.<br><br>In addition, many patients who were initially uncomfortable with the idea of disclosing this information to a clerk said they would feel more comfortable providing it to a nurse or doctor instead.</p>