Health disparities are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Populations can be defined by factors such as race or ethnicity, primary language, gender, disability, education, income, geographic location or sexual orientation.
NJHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust has a number of initiatives aimed at identifying health disparities and addressing the diverse needs of New Jersey communities.
Diabetes Management Among Minorities
HRET’s Dulce New Jersey: Diabetes Disease Management Program is designed to address disparities and improve the healthcare outcomes of minority and immigrant adults in New Jersey with moderate to severe diabetes through an evidence-based, culturally appropriate model that incorporates nurse-managed clinical care with community-based peer education.
Patient Race, Ethnicity and Language Data Collection
HRET launched an intensive educational initiative targeting hospital access managers and registration staff to improve hospital practices of collecting and reporting patient race, ethnicity and language data and enhance accuracy and reliability of these data fields. Through this initiative, HRET provides a set of standardized data collection guidelines, a training curriculum and educational tools and resources in a variety of formats.
Limited English Proficiency
HRET helps healthcare organizations across the state address the needs of their patients with limited English proficiency through a Healthcare Interpreter Training Program for Bilingual Hospital Staff. This program to train bilingual staff as dual-role medical interpreters was developed to address language barriers in healthcare settings, advance workforce competency and create an alternative “pool” of trained interpreters for timely access to communication services.