FACTS ABOUT RACIAL DISPARITIES AND PATIENT SAFETY
• The death rate of African American women who are pregnant is higher than white women regardless of education level. https://blackdoctor.org/517210/pregnancy-childbirth-are-killing-black-women-heres-why/
• The breast cancer death rate is 40% higher for African American women.
• Overall, doctors spend less time with African American patients.
• African American people are given less pain medication. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/04/do-blacks-feel-less-pain-than-whites-their-doctors-may-think-so/?utm_term=.f3e025e8c69d
• There is extensive evidence and research that finds unconscious biases can lead to
differential treatment of patients by race, gender, weight, age, language, income and
insurance status. https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/23/Quick_Safety_Issue_23_Apr_2016.pdf
• Racial health disparities are associated with substantial annual economic losses
nationally, including an estimated $35 billion in excess health care expenditures, $10
billion in illness-related lost productivity, and nearly $200 billion in premature deaths.
• New York City hospitals that mainly serve African-American expectant mothers have
severe complication rates two-and-a-half times higher than those that mainly serve white
mothers, even after you factor in patient complexities.
• In New York City, African-American women are 12 times more likely to die before, during
and after childbirth than white women — a gap almost four times wider than the country as a whole. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/ms/pregnancy-associated-mortality-
• Even subtle cues – like body language – can differ in patient-doctor interactions,
depending on a doctor’s biases and whether a patient is white or black. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-02-11/racial-bias-in-medicine-leads-to-