Do Healthcare Providers Discriminate? Unveiling Health Disparities with Comprehensive Data

Group photo of Fiterau's team

From left: Purity Mugambi (Computer Science), Rachel 'Rae' Walker (Nursing), Joohyun Chung (Nursing), Stephanie Carreiro (Emergency Medicine) and Madalina 'Ina' Fiterau Brostean (Computer Science).

Many prior studies have revealed disparities in patients’ quality of care based on systemic racial, gender, age, and other biases in healthcare systems. However, so far, the findings of this research have been difficult to analyze and generalize due to the limitations of the studies’ methodologies. Intending to overcome healthcare disparities, this study introduces an innovative approach to measuring the data, providing a much broader, big-picture view of healthcare inequity.

Do healthcare providers discriminate?

Many prior studies have revealed disparities in patients’ quality of care based on systemic racial, gender, age, and other biases in healthcare systems.

While these studies have been instrumental in raising this important discussion, most of them have relied on narrow sets of data. This has made it difficult to replicate, analyze, and generalize the findings: how can we know that bias extends across healthcare if we only examine disparities in a single hospital or even a single region?

We are attempting to address this issue. A multi-disciplinary team, we developed an innovative approach to measuring disparities in treatment across multiple sets of data, providing a much broader, big-picture view of healthcare inequity.

Our method can help future researchers make compelling, data-driven arguments for widespread disparities across the entire healthcare sector. Additionally, these findings will be useful in applying for external grants to extend the research to other patient populations and datasets, further enriching the available research and methodology surrounding this issue.