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Decreasing Healthcare Disparities

The article Institute of Medicine. (2002, March). Unequal treatment: What healthcare providers need to know about racial and ethic disparities in healthcare. Retrieved November 27, 2008, from http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2003/Unequal-Treatment-Confronting-Racial-and-Ethnic-Disparities-in-Health-Care/Disparitieshcproviders8pgFINAL.ashx

They noted that the in addition, health plans have raised significant concerns about how such data will be analyzed and reported. The challenges to data collection should be addressed, as the costs of failing to assess racial and ethnic disparities in care may outweigh new burdens imposed by data collection and analysis efforts..Many other strategies must be undertaken, in conjunction with the training and educational strategies described here, to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. As noted in the report, these include, for example, policy and regulatory strategies that address fragmentation of health plans along socioeconomic lines, and health systems interventions to promote the use of clinical practice guidelines and promote the use of interpretation services where community need exists. In short, a comprehensive, multi-level strategy is needed to eliminate these disparities.

What can we do to decrease the disparities?

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The word "disparity" can be defined as "the condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree." Synonyms for disparity include inequality, unlikeness, disproportion, and difference. While disparity in health care has been closely associated with equity, there are several ...