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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Collecting data on patient's race, ethnicity and primary language: Assessment of hospital policies, practices, barriers and needs

Firoozeh Molaparast Vali, PhD1, Annette Lombardo, MPH1, and Maria Mera2. (1) Research Department, New Jersey Hospital Association/HRET, 760 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ 08543, 609-275-4146, fvali@njha.com, (2) Project Coordinator, Research Department, New Jersey Hospital Association/HRET, 760 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ 08543

Given the dramatic increase in minority/immigrant populations of New Jersey and the substantiated disparities in healthcare access, service utilization and health outcomes, it is critical that hospitals accurately reflect the populations they serve. Previous studies, however, documented significant variations in hospital practice of collecting and reporting patient race and ethnicity data, have identified many coding errors, misclassifications and underreporting of certain RE categories, mainly Hispanics, and stressed a need for standardized data collection, coding and information systems. As part of planning for a statewide educational campaign, this study was designed to assess hospital current practices. All of New Jersey's 84 acute care hospitals were surveyed on their current policies, practices, barriers and needs in systematically collecting data on patients' race, ethnicity and primary language. The survey instruments included questions on hospital protocols, national standards followed, data collection procedures and how questions are asked, perceived barriers and importance of collecting these data, coding/processing procedures, educational resources currently used and the type of training and educational tools hospital workers and patients need to improve this data collection. The survey findings will be presented and the identified gaps, system issues and perceived needs will be discussed. The findings will be used in developing standardized processes, training curriculum, educational tools and resources for hospital intake workers and patients. More reliable/accurate data on patient R/E can help hospitals more effectively assess healthcare needs of their diverse communities and develop culturally appropriate programs to reduce healthcare disparities and improve quality of care for all patients.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Data Collection, Ethnic Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Advances in Health Disparities Research

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA