Missed Policy Opportunities to Advance Health Equity by Recording Demographic Data in Electronic Health Records
American Journal of Public Health
ISSN or ISBN
The science of eliminating health disparities is complex and dependent on demographic data. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) encourages the adoption of electronic health records and requires basic demographic data collection; however, current data generated are insufficient to address known health disparities in vulnerable populations, including individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, with disabilities, and with diverse sexual identities.
We conducted an administrative history of HITECH and identified gaps between the policy objective and required measure. We identified 20 opportunities for change and 5 changes, 2 of which required the collection of less data.
Until health care demographic data collection requirements are consistent with public health requirements, the national goal of eliminating health disparities cannot be realized.
Douglas, Megan Daugherty; Dawes, Daniel; Holden, Kisha B.; and Mack, Dominic, "Missed Policy Opportunities to Advance Health Equity by Recording Demographic Data in Electronic Health Records" (2015). HCBE Faculty Articles. 1047.