A patient’s racial or ethnic background could influence which emergency department (ED) an ambulance takes her to, causing a considerable hit on health disparities and health equity, according to new data published in JAMA Open Network.
Health disparities, or inequities in patients’ abilities to achieve health or unequal disease burden, impact patients across the country. Depending on certain social determinants of health, individual patient populations may have different healthcare experiences and even suffer more or less from certain healthcare conditions. Health disparities may also exist in patient access to care, experts say.
This most recent data showed that health disparities may persist even in an ambulance ride. Typically, emergency medical services (EMS) responders take patients to the nearest ED to receive emergency care, the researchers said.