Collecting the Data: First Steps in Achieving Health Equity

Originally presented on October 17, 2013

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH
Former Commissioner, New York State Department of Health

Marcia J. Wilson, PhD, MBA
Deputy Director, Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University

David Zingmond, MD, PhD
Associate Professor In-Residence, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Related Services Research, The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Steven M. Safyer, MD
President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center

Dennis Whalen
President, Healthcare Association of New York State

Health disparities – from access to care to health outcomes – disproportionately affect a growing segment of our population.  While recent reports show some progress in reducing health disparities, there is still much work to be done.  As America becomes increasingly diverse, concrete strategies to address disparities are needed to prevent ever-widening gaps in healthcare and health outcomes.  To improve the quality and equity of healthcare, there needs to be better, reliable and accurate disparity measures to assess the scope and types of disparities that exist.  Improved collection of data will allow hospitals and facilities to improve their assessment and understanding of the problem at their hospital or facility, develop and implement quality improvement interventions targeted to specific patient populations, evaluate effectiveness of the interventions, and meet the challenge issued by the Institute of Medicine to reduce unequal healthcare.  As such, it is imperative that hospital and facility leaders, providers and staff develop a system-wide strategy to improve and standardize the collection of racial, ethnic, and other disparities information.

This webcast addresses the rationale for collecting race and ethnicity data.  Discusses the challenges and successes of these data collection efforts, explain why hospitals, emergency rooms, and surgery centers are logical places for data collection, and provide a roadmap for how to begin making the changes necessary to succeed.

Program Objectives
After watching this broadcast participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three examples of reported disparities in healthcare (e.g., unequal treatment)
  • Describe why improved race and ethnicity data will help individual hospitals and facilities identify disparities in healthcare quality at their institution
  • Illustrate successful strategies that are being used to improve the data collections process