What Are the Best Ways to Measure Progress in Tackling Disparities?

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<p>The range of tools used to measure progress toward eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is as large as the problems themselves. In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=22360&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D374774%26%23doc374774">Commonwealth Fund-supported study</a> published in <em>Milbank Quarterly,</em> researchers led by former Harkness Fellow Mark Exworthy of the University of London analyze efforts under way in the U.S. and U.K. to address disparities, from national public health goals to report cards compiled at every level of the health system.<br><br>The authors identify what works, while laying out the challenges researchers and policymakers face in devising and using these tools. Ultimately, successful strategies to reduce disparities in health care will depend on the validity of these measurement mechanisms.<br><br>"In both the United States and the United Kingdom, keeping track of progress in tackling these seemingly intractable problems is essential to assessing the extent to which evidence has been translated into policy and practice," the authors say, noting that both countries "still have a long way to go."</p>