Public health data clearly documents that people of color face worse health outcomes, but Connecticut currently has no statewide standardized way for health care systems and clinics to collect, report, and use patients’ self-reported race, ethnicity, and language (REL) data to improve care. Health systems that already collect this information have been able to use it to identify and target disparities, and in Connecticut, a new state law calls for nearly all providers to collect this data.
This report, produced by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, provides a seven-stage roadmap with concrete steps that health care providers and others can take to begin collecting and using this data to improve patient care and target disparities. It includes guidance on training staff, explaining to patients why the data is important, identifying which variables to include, making sure providers have the right data systems to store the information, and using the data to identify inequities and make changes to eliminate them.
The roadmap was developed with input from Connecticut health care providers, health equity experts, and patients, as well as those who have already implemented similar initiatives in other states.