Racial disparities in the frequency of patient safety events: results from the National Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System.
Prior studies have raised the concern that minorities may be at higher risk of adverse events while hospitalized. This analysis of more than 100,000 hospital discharges found that black patients appeared to be at higher risk of hospital-acquired infections and certain adverse drug events. Interestingly, hospitals treating a higher proportion of black patients had higher rates of safety problems for all patients (regardless of race), implying that both patient factors and health care system factors may account for these disparities. Previous research has attempted to explore possible patient-level reasons for these findings.