Amal Trivedi believes he’s found a small but significant health care improvement for people of color: between 2005 and 2010, racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of hospital care decreased.
Scrutinizing 12-million hospitalizations nationwide, Trivedi, an associate professor of medicine, and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh looked specifically at three areas: heart attacks, heart failures, and pneumonia. They found that, during the five-year period, hospitals serving predominantly minority patients had improved care faster than those with predominantly white patients. And, in hospitals serving both populations, the health care disparity between whites and patients of color also narrowed. The researchers published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Trivedi says these results, while positive, address care in only a small number of illnesses. But they do suggest that, when hospitals strive to improve quality, they can also improve equity.