Collecting the Data - The Nuts and Bolts
Recent implementation of the PPACA now mandates certain standards for data collections in all national population health surveys. In addition the National Research Council of the National Academies report Eliminating Health Disparities: Measurement and Data Needs (2004) recommends that hospitals, other health care providers, and health insurers collect standardized data on race and ethnicity using the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards as a base minimum. However, experts recognize that greater detail or granularity beyond the OMB categories may be more useful for hospitals and health care organizations in target improvements for diverse populations. We recognize that collecting granular level data at the organizational level may create challenges for reporting or for research. The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recent report Race, Ethnicity and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement (2009) provides new recommendations to help facilitate and further standardize the collection of race, ethnicity and primary language data. We recommend that health care providers collect race, Hispanic ethnicity and granular ethnicity data separately and "roll up" or aggregate the granular ethnicities to the OMB race and Hispanic ethnicity categories as needed.
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