The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created new draft standards to improve the monitoring of health data by race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status.
The agency began planning for the collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health data. Both projects aim to help researchers, policy makers, health providers, and advocates identify and address health disparities afflicting these communities.
“The first step is to make sure we are asking the right questions. Sound data collection takes careful planning to ensure that accurate and actionable data is being recorded,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Dr. Garth Graham, HHS Director of the Office of Minority Health, said, “To fully understand and meet the needs of our communities, we must first thoroughly understand who we are serving.” The race and ethnicity standards will provide additional categories from which racial and ethnic differences in health care and outcomes can be examined in more detail.
New standards will help the department target their research and tailor stronger solutions for underserved and minority communities. ♦
For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/disparities06292011a.html.