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A toolkit for collecting race, ethnicity, and primary language information from patients.
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Collecting the Data - The Nuts and Bolts


Always provide a rationale for why you are asking patients/enrollees to provide information about their race/ethnicity. Research shows that patients are most comfortable providing this information when told why it is being collected and how it will be used. We recommend that health care organizations and health plans collect this information for quality monitoring purposes. Below is a sample rationale, which is easy to communicate and focuses on data collection for quality monitoring.


"We want to make sure that all our patients get the best care possible. We would like you to tell us your racial/ethnic background so that we can review the treatment that all patients receive and make sure that everyone gets the highest quality of care."

In addition, it is important to state that the information is confidential:

"The only people who see this information are registration staff, administrators for the hospital, and the people involved in quality improvement and oversight, and the confidentiality of what you say is protected by law."

Look to the blue Links column to the right for helpful resources.

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