Racial and ethnic disparities in patient safety.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Prior studies have raised the concern that minorities may be at higher risk of adverse events while hospitalized. This systematic review sought to examine racial and ethnic disparities in studies of patient safety. The authors found that safety research does not uniformly include ethnically diverse populations or adjust for individual characteristics such as race, ethnicity, and income. Hospital-level variations (such as teaching status and percentage of minority patients) and geographic characteristics, both thought to affect disparities in health care outcomes, were not always reported or taken into account in the studies identified. In order to improve characterization of the role disparities play in adverse events, the authors call for research to include reporting of comorbid conditions, sociodemographic characteristics, differences in hospital levels, and geographic factors.