Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Patient Care
Image: RWJ Foundation sponsorship enabled Montefiore to examine the quality of care provided to specific patient populations over time. full image
Brian Currie, MD, MPH
Assistant Dean for Clinical Research, Montefiore Medical Center
Professor of Clinical Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health
Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH
Chief Quality Officer
Assistant Professor (Medicine)
Montefiore Medical Center is one of ten hospitals with racially and ethnically diverse patient populations participating in Expecting Success: Excellence in Cardiac Care, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program helps healthcare systems prioritize racial, ethnic, and language disparities in their ongoing efforts to improve the quality of care for heart failure and heart attack patients.
Montefiore’s key intervention was to create a standardized process of collecting patient information, including race and ethnicity. This involved implementation and training for a patient registration community of over 500 people in nearly ninety sites around the medical center. The information collected from improved, more comprehensive patient registrations enabled Montefiore to examine the quality of care that specific patient populations received over time.
In one study, Einstein-Montefiore investigators evaluated the proportion of black and Latino patients who received a balloon angioplasty procedure within ninety minutes, and found that the care given to black and Latino patients was similar in quality to that given to Caucasian patients.
The Expecting Success program is part of the Montefiore Network Performance Group's ongoing effort to garner extramural recognition and procure funding for innovative quality improvement initiatives.
Application and Future Direction
This information will be used to develop a number of culturally focused patient care improvement initiatives:
- Language-concordant interpretive services and patient information including consent forms and health education material
- Ethnically specific dietary counseling services
- Community-level interventions adapted to the ethnic, social, and economic characteristics of specific Bronx populations
- Family-centered, community-based, culturally-appropriate intervention to disparities in diabetes morbidity and mortality in ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations