Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Collecting Data on Race and Ethnicity in Patient Surveys

The Disease Management Care Blog has been looking into inquiring about race in patient surveys. While it may be a charged topic, it's important data and has important implications even outside of face-to-face care. Traditional Federal standards include asking about race (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) as well as ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino). And by the way, relying on administrative or chart data doesn't appear to be enough.

Here's a good discussion on why its important and how how to do it right.

The biggest insights gleaned by the DMCB are 1) questions about race/ethnicity should allow for multiple answers, since patients can identify with more than group, and, 2) after extensive investigative research in the world's scientific literature, the DMCB has determined Estonians and Lutherans are generally NOT included in patient surveys as either a race or ethnic group. Despite that disappointing setback, however, the DMCB continues to search for a rationale for identifying Norwegians as a population segment worthy of special racial/ethnic consideration. After all, they possess some unique traits such as use of the term "uff da," preferring morbidly depressing cinema and having a special talent/appreciation for some weird if compelling art.

('Alt for Norge' translates literally to 'All for Norway,' a statement that doubles as both a mighty oath and a toast that is best uttered while wearing one of those silly battle hats with the horns on the 17th of May)


Mark B. said...

Great post. Would have liked to see a reference to potato dumplings though

Jaan Sidorov said...

med aquavit!