Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Care Following The New York State Sepsis Initiative
Research article: Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Care Following The New York State Sepsis Initiative
After 2013, when New York State mandated that hospitals follow protocols to treat sepsis, completion of the protocols increased and mortality declined. Whether these encouraging trends have equitably benefited racial/ethnic minority populations is unknown. Although there were no significant racial/ethnic differences in rates of protocol completion at the onset of New York’s Sepsis Initiative, over time white patients experienced a greater increase in protocol completion rates (14.0 percentage points) compared to black patients (5.3 percentage points). The emergence of this disparity was due to smaller performance improvements among hospitals with higher proportions of black patients, though white and black patients showed similar improvements when treated within the same hospital. Our study suggests an urgent need to understand why improvements in sepsis care lagged in hospitals in New York that care for higher proportions of minority patients. Policy makers should anticipate and monitor the effects of quality improvement initiatives on disparities to ensure that all racial/ethnic groups realize their benefits equitably.
Health Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 7, July 2019 - https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05381