Study Identifies Racial Differences In Patient Safety In Hospitals

Study Identifies Racial Differences In Patient Safety In Hospitals

This is something, that is not hidden from the world. Yes, racial discrimination is the topic of discussion here. Black patients do have a higher chance of facing adversities in the same settings, as white patients. It is irrespective of the medical insurance, coverage, and the percentage of Blacks admitted. The study was conducted by the Urban Institute Study. There is racial discrimination that is impacting patient safety in the hospitals. Several senior research associates have seen this trend today. 

Study Identifies Racial Differences In Patient Safety In Hospitals

One of the researchers, Anuj Gangopadhyaya, looked at the hospital data from 2017. The database included 26 states and 2,347 hospitals, to be exact. In 348 hospitals, about 80 percent were Blacks, and 444 percent hospitalizations were Whites. A prominent software was used to analyze the data.

Study Identifies Racial Differences In Patient Safety In Hospitals

The Study depended on eleven safety indicators. The general safety measures comprised four factors. They are pressure ulcer rates and central-venous catheter-related infection. The other factors were related to surgical procedures. It pointed towards post-surgery sepsis. If studies are to be relied on, the Black patients were more susceptible to negligence based on at least six parameters. 

The quality of care was similar for both the Whites and the Blacks on other parameters. The racial difference was 20 percent for the hemorrhage rate, 18 percent for the respiratory failure rate, 30 percent for pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis rate, and 27 percent for the sepsis rate.

The Effects Of Insurance

Most Black patients below 60 years have Medicaid in the States. They do have private medical insurance like the Whites. The difference in insurance types can also be related to racial differences. These could be some of the drivers leading to differential treatment inside the hospitals.

The Urban Institute has gone through many such parameters. After making adjustments in the type of medical plan, the results of post-operation failure diminished from 27 percent to 14 percent. The study also took note of the adjustment inpatient coverage types in the same hospital. The difference was visible amongst Medicare enrollees. The study also identified differences in insurance coverage do not contribute to major factors behind the discrimination. 

Moreover, the institute also conducted surveys in hospitals, where more than 25 percent of hospitalized patients were Black. There were some discrepancies in treatment. However, that did not contribute to the patient safety indicators. The number of resources a hospital has, in terms of insurance patients, also did not have any bearing on the safety indicators. 

Main Reasons Behind The Differential Treatment 

The main reason behind the discrimination is systemic racism. It is largely based on the cells of the brain. This kind of discrimination is ingrained in the psyche of the same team of doctors, and nurses, attending to the same number of patients. Hospitals have to dig deeper, to unearth such kind of racist behavior.

The time to start the treatment for stroke patients in the Black community was higher than that of White patients. TPA can protect Black patients from further damage. Once, the hospitals realign their processes, and training, it can have a better effect on the treatment of both kinds of patients. The main reason that may be a contributing factor to the study, is the presence of White doctors. Most doctors are White. Thus, it leads to a culture of partiality towards Whites. 

The doctor-patient relationship is really important under such circumstances. The same cultural background does have an effect on the relationship. Moreover, some doctors and nurses may have biases. Moreover, there are some wrong stories circulating. That states that Blacks have higher pain tolerance than Whites. These false assumptions do have an effect. The Urban Institute has done a great job, by highlighting these issues. 

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