Standardizing race, ethnicity, and preferred language data collection in hospital information systems

results and implications for healthcare delivery and policy.

Rohit Bhalla, Brandon G. Yongue, Brian P. Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Institute of Medicine has identified the need for healthcare organizations to collect standardized demographic data as a step toward reducing healthcare disparities. This observational study of patients discharged from a large academic medical center between 2005 and 2009, evaluates an organizational effort to standardize demographic data collection, characterizes limitations of the implementation, and assesses its utility in quality improvement and disparity reduction efforts. Primary measures include percentages of inpatient discharges with unknown race, ethnicity, and language data. Secondary measures include "ideal" cardiovascular care and readmission rates. From 2005 to 2009, the proportion of discharges with unknown race, ethnicity, or preferred language data decreased significantly. Among discharges with known ethnicity in 2009, Hispanic/Latino patients were significantly more likely to decline to specify their race or designate their race as a "Multiracial: Other Combination." No significant differences in ideal cardiovascular care were observed across demographic groups. Differences in readmission rates were observed among some groups. A provider organization can effectively standardize demographic data collection practices for use in quality improvement efforts. Current federal race categories are of limited utility for persons of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, and performance measurement approaches that exclude demographic variables may fail to address healthcare disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalJournal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Fingerprint

Hospital Information Systems
Language
Hispanic Americans
Demography
Delivery of Health Care
Healthcare Disparities
Quality Improvement
Organizations
National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (U.S.) Health and Medicine Division
Observational Studies
Inpatients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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