The Importance of Collecting Patient Demographic Data

Middle-aged black male patient wearing a mask talks with a young female healthcare worker, also masked

“How do we know if we have disparities and how can we prevent disparities that exist in our patient outcomes?”  

If your organization is asking these questions, the collection and analysis of accurate patient demographic data is an important first step to providing answers. Consider that a 2018 study found that health disparities cost $93 billion in excess medical costs and $42 billion in lowered productivity each year in the U.S.1. It is more important than ever to consider the financial risk associated with allowing health disparities to persist as new payment structures hold health systems accountable for the health of every patient served.

Disparities occur across many dimensions. Identifying differences by race, ethnicity, and language (REaL), as well as social determinants of health, can help your organization take deliberate action to improve health equity. Join IPRO for the Health Equity Organizational Assessment (HEOA) Knowledge Builder Series. In each 30-minute session, we explore the seven HEOA categories and key activities identified by national research as critical components for identifying and addressing health disparities.

[1] . Turner A. (2018). The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth. W.R. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum.
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