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Identifying and Improving the 'Ground Truth' of Race in Disparities Research Through Improved EMR Data Reporting. A Systematic Review
23 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2023More...
Background: Studies about racial disparities in healthcare are increasing in quantity; however, they are subject to vast differences in definition, classification, and utilization of race/ethnicity data. Improved standardization of this information can strengthen conclusions drawn from studies using such data. The objective of this study is to examine how data related to race/ethnicity is recorded in research through examining articles on race/ethnicity health disparities, and examine problems and solutions in data reporting that may impact overall data quality.
Methods: In this systematic review, Business Source Complete, Embase.com, IEEE Xplore, MEDLINE via PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection were searched for relevant articles published from 2000 to 2020. Search terms related to the concepts of electronic health records, race/ethnicity, and data entry related to race/ethnicity were used. Exclusion criteria included articles not in the English language and those describing pediatric populations. Data were extracted from published articles. This review was organized and reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 statement for systematic reviews.
Findings: In this systematic review, 109 full text articles were reviewed. Weaknesses and possible solutions have been discussed in current literature, with the predominant problem and solution as follows: the electronic medical record (EMR) is vulnerable to inaccuracies and incompleteness in the methods that administrators and healthcare workers collect this data; however, improved standardization of the collection and use of race data in patient care may help alleviate these inaccuracies.
Interpretation: Conclusions drawn from large datasets concerning peoples of certain race/ethnic groups should be made cautiously, and a careful review of the methodology of each publication should be considered prior to implementation in patient care.
Funding: There was no funding source for this study.
Declaration of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Keywords: Health Policy, Race, Ethnicity, EMR, Database, Systematic Review
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation