Cardiac care has significantly improved in the United States, with minorities often receiving better quality cardiac care than whites, according to the newly released 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report by AHRQ. However, overall health care quality continues to improve at a slow rate (2.5 percent) and quality and access to care are hindered for many Americans due to disparities based on race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors, the reports noted.
Fifty percent of the measures that tracked disparities in healthcare access showed no improvement, while 40 percent of those measures were getting worse. Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives received worse access to care than whites on more than 60 percent of the reports’ access measures, while blacks received worse access on slightly more than 30 percent of the access measures. Asians had worse access to care on only 17 percent of the access measures.
This year’s reports include new data on the adoption of electronic health record systems in hospitals and home health and hospice agencies, adolescent health, and musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report are available online at http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr11.htm