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Zero Disparities Committee

The Zero Disparities Committee is a multidisciplinary working group comprised of members from the CHA Departments of Community Health Improvement, Multicultural Affairs and Patient Services, and Quality Management departments. The Committee’s mission is to reduce disparities in service utilization and health outcomes among the populations served by the Cambridge Health Alliance.

According to the 2003 Institute of Medicine report "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care," racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. receive lower quality of care even when insurance status, income, age, and illness severity are comparable with non-minorities. These disparities in health care, which occur in the broader context of historic and contemporary socioeconomic and racial inequality, contribute to poorer health outcomes for minorities across a wide range of health conditions and diseases.

Accurate, patient-identified race, ethnicity, and language (REL) data is essential for identifying any disparities that may exist among the communities we serve. The Zero Disparities Committee is currently working on several initiatives to improve the quality of the REL data collected from patients. The Committee provides training on best practices for REL data collection to registration staff and their managers, as well as develops and disseminates resources to aid staff in data collection. Members of the staff are available to provide trainings and consultation upon request.

Future initiatives will focus on using the REL data collected to identify and address any disparities found among our patient populations.