Death rates have been falling for critically ill sufferers in intensive care units (ICUs). Still, new U.S. research suggests gains have been restricted at hospitals with massive numbers of minority patients.
Data on virtually 1.1 million ICU patients at over 200 hospitals from 2006 to 2016 show a gradual yearly 2% fall in ICU death rates at hospitals with few minority sufferers; however, not at hospitals where a minimum of one-fourth of patients had been Hispanic or African-American.
African-American sufferers further appeared to fare higher at hospitals that served fewer minorities.
Death rates for this community shrank 3% annually at hospitals with few minority sufferers while remaining fairly fixed at hospitals serving large numbers of minorities, researchers report.
In addition to looking at the proportion of minority sufferers served at every hospital, researchers recognized “minority-serving” hospitals, where the ratio of minority sufferers was twice as large as the proportion in the surrounding group.
Virtually, one-third of critically unwell African-American sufferers and approximately half of critically ill Hispanic sufferers had been treated at merely 14 of the 200 hospitals included in the research.
In comparison with hospitals treating a few minority patients, hospitals treating more minorities tended to treat young sufferers, but also sicker sufferers with more severe illness, the research discovered.
The research only included hospitals that use the same platform for electronic health information.
Another disadvantage is that researchers lacked data on sure patient traits that may influence outcomes such as insurance standing, income, and lifestyle habits, researchers note.