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Use Data to Identify Disparities Across Patient Groups

Organizations can use data about their patient population to determine whether there are differences in the care provided to one group of patients versus another. Some organizations may be able to perform complex data analysis across multiple measures, but all organizations should be able to analyze at least one quality and safety issue to identify potential health care disparities among its patient population.


Improving health care equity for the organization’s patients is a quality and safety priority.

EP 3

The organization identifies health care disparities in its patient population by stratifying quality and safety data using the sociodemographic characteristics of the organization’s patients.

Note 1

Organizations may focus on areas with known health care disparities identified in the scientific literature (for example, organ transplantation, maternal care, diabetes management) or select measures that affect all patients (for example, experience of care and communication).

Note 2

Organizations determine which sociodemographic characteristics to use for stratification analyses. Examples of sociodemographic characteristics may include the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Preferred language
  • Race and ethnicity

Some terms used in the requirements will vary by accreditation program. For example, the behavioral health care and human services program uses the term "individual served" as opposed to "patient" that is used in hospital and ambulatory settings.

Learn from Other Organizations

Click on the Snapshots and Soundbites icons to learn how other organizations are using data to identify disparities and how they leveraged their state hospital association for support.

Preview of Resources

Does your organization need a framework for data validation and stratification or to learn about leading practices for using data? Interested in seeing a sample dashboard? How about a resource for the ambulatory setting? To help your organization meet the new health care equity requirements, click the Strategies tab to access the resources we selected to support your efforts.