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  • Washington Highlights

    AHRQ Chartbook on Patient Safety Identifies Trends in Care Quality


    Philip Alberti, Senior Director, Health Equity Research and Policy

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released its annual Chartbook on Patient Safety, which is part of its National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. The report summarizes trends in key patient safety measures and identifies significant changes and disparities.

    Highlights from the 2021 Chartbook include:

    • Hospital-acquired conditions such as adverse drug events and C. difficile infections reduced 28% and 37% respectively from 2014 to 2017. 
    • People in low-income households received worse care than people in high-income households for one-third (33%) of included patient safety measures, and they received better care on no measures.
    • For approximately half of patient safety measures, there were no differences in care quality for minority populations compared to White populations. For the remaining measures, Asian and Hispanic patient populations were more likely to experience better care (for 35% of measures) as opposed to worse care (19% and 15% of measures, respectively) compared with White populations. Conversely, Black patients were more likely to receive worse care (30% of measures) rather than better care (21% of measures) compared to White patients.

    Learn more about improving patient quality and safety with the AAMC’s Integrating Quality Initiative.