Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Study Finds Inequities at Clinics Serving Minorities

Minority patients tend to have worse outcomes than white patients from chronic diseases, and Anita Varkey wanted to know why. She’s medical director at the Loyola Outpatient Center. She says people have tended to confront health disparities by trying to train doctors and educate patients. But even if patients and staff are doing their best, she finds there may be more needed.

VARKEY: If the clinic environment is not set up to help support that interaction, maybe that is where it is less successful than what it could be.

Varkey and her colleagues looked at about 100 primary-care clinics, including a dozen in the Chicago area. At clinics with at least 30 percent minority patients, doctors reported much more hectic work environments – phones ringing off the hook, crowded waiting areas and fewer exam rooms.
From yesterday's CapFax morning shorts.

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