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Cone Health honored for cutting racial disparities in cancer treatment

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The American Hospital Association has honored  Greensboro, N.C., Cone Health for its work in reducing racial disparities in cancer treatment.  The association’s Hospitals & Health Networks reports:

“{U}dated data, in which a significant percentage of patients {were seen as having} registered as more than one race, helped the system to determine that it had a 52 percent minority patient base, and that 41 percent of those minorities were African-American. The Cone Health Cancer Center then launched an initiative to reduce treatment completion disparities for African-American patients diagnosed with early stage breast or lung cancer.

“Four interventions have since erased those disparities: creating a real-time registry that issues automated alerts for missed appointments and unmet care milestones; tracking race-specific data on treatment adherence; employing a nurse navigator trained in culturally appropriate communication; and holding quarterly staff education sessions on unconscious health bias, gatekeeping and other contributors to treatment inequities. As a result, the share of patients who completed cancer treatment went from 64 percent to 96 percent among African-American patients, and from 76 to 96 percent among white patients.”

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