University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Identifying Substantial Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Outcomes and Care in Wisconsin Using Electronic Health Record Data

Maureen A. Smith, MD, PhD, MPH; Korina A. Hendricks, BS; Lauren M. Bednarz, MPH; Matthew Gigot, MPH; Abbey Harburn, MPH; Katherine J. Curtis, PhD; Susan R. Passmore, PhD; Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, PhD

WMJ. 2021;120(Suppl 1):S13-S16.

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Background: Our goal was to identify racial and ethnic disparities in health outcome and care measures in Wisconsin.

Methods: We used electronic health record data from 25 health systems submitting to the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality to identify disparities in measures, including vaccinations, screenings, risk factors for chronic disease, and chronic disease management.

Results: American Indian/Alaska Native and Black populations experienced substantial disparities across multiple measures. Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and White populations experienced substantial disparities for 2 measures each.

Discussion: Reducing health disparities is a statewide imperative. Root causes of health disparities, such as systemic racism and socioeconomic factors, should be addressed for groups experiencing multiple disparities, with focused efforts on selected measures when indicated.

Author Affiliations: Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH), Madison, Wis (Smith, Hendricks, Bednarz); Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, UWSMPH, Madison, Wis (Smith); Health Innovation Program, UWSMPH, Madison, Wis (Smith, Hendricks, Bednarz); Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Madison, Wis (Gigot, Harburn); Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin – Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wis (Curtis); Applied Population Laboratory, Madison, Wis (Curtis); Collaborative Center for Health Equity, UWSMPH, Madison, Wis (Passmore, Farrar-Edwards); Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Education, Madison, Wis (Farrar-Edwards).
Corresponding Author: Maureen A. Smith, MD, PhD, MPH, 800 University Bay Dr, Suite 210, Madison, WI 53705; phone 608.262.4802; email
Funding/Support: Work reported in this article was funded through a Wisconsin Partnership Program grant (Principal Investigator: Maureen A. Smith).
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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