The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the substantial disparities in healthcare that have existed in the United States for many years. The Joint Commission recently issued tips for identifying healthcare disparities and addressing them.
Many clinical calculators use race as a predictive variable to assess risk for outcomes. Although most tools assume a genetic disposition for these outcomes, other factors, such as health disparities and other potential confounders, are more likely to be the underlying reasons for any race-related differences in outcomes.
Many healthcare organizations, including the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, joined hundreds of businesses in condemning racism and police brutality. The American College of Surgeons issued a call to action on racism as a public health crisis.
ICU deaths declined 2% steadily annually at non-minority hospitals, according to a recent report. This was not true of minority-serving hospitals. Those hospitals also reported longer lengths of stay and more critical illness than non-minority hospitals.
If plaintiffs allege they received poor care in an emergency department (ED) because of their race, there is plenty of potentially admissible research that demonstrates it is indeed possible. People of Black or Latin American descent coming to the ED with cardiac symptoms were less likely to be admitted to specialized cardiology units than white patients, according to the authors of a study.
Several months of data from the COVID-19 pandemic showed that African Americans and other people of color were disproportionately dying from the disease. Disparities in how COVID-19 affects minority communities highlight long-standing difficulties in achieving health equity in U.S. society, including clinical trials.
Digital solutions make it easier for patients to access health information and improve their self-care, but some barriers and disparities remain. These challenges are particularly acute for older patients, some ethnic and racial minority groups, and others.