As of January 2010, hospitals were required to collect and report patient race, ethnicity and language data as required by the NH Health Care Facility Discharge Data Submission rules. The ability to collect this demographic data is also part of Stage 1 Meaningful Use Criteria for Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

Any time there is change in how a hospital interacts with its patients, it is important to educate staff and the community to ease concerns. Staff who confidently ask a patient their race and ethnicity in a nonthreatening polite manner, explaining the confidentiality and uses of the data, are more successful and can move quickly on with the registration process.

NHHA and NH DHHS collaborated to develop guidance documents for hospitals on collecting this data:

The NH Health & Equity Partnership is available to provide staff in-service training on collecting patient race, ethnicity and language data.  Contact contact to arrange.

Additional Resources on Collecting Patient Race, Ethnicity and Language Data: