The research found that Black patients were also less likely to receive care in hospitals that had high quality in preventing pressure ulcers, central venous catheter-related blood stream infections, postoperative sepsis, postoperative acute kidney injury requiring dialysis and postoperative hemorrhages.
And the difference in quality scores also extended to the adverse events that Black patients experienced. For every 1,000 Black inpatient discharge who previously underwent an elective surgical procedure, 4.9 Black patients contracted sepsis after their operation, about double compared to white patients. These patients experienced more occurrences of respiratory failure and hematoma after a surgery.
Gangopadhyaya wrote that hospitals can make concerted efforts to improve patient safety, and high-quality hospitals could also try to expand patient access for Black Americans can contribute to reducing these disparities.
“Disparities in patient safety by race are unacceptable symptoms of unequal healthcare in America,” Gangopadhyaya wrote. “These differences are addressable, as this analysis shows that many hospitals have been successful in eliminating adverse events across many measures of patient safety.”
The data came from 2017 discharge records from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s state inpatient databases for 26 states, including Georgia, Maryland, Kansas, Arizona, Alaska and Oregon.