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According to the Institute of Medicine, standardized data collection is critical to understanding and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care. A critical barrier to eliminating disparities and improving the quality of patient care is the frequent lack of even the most basic data on race, ethnicity, and primary language of patients within health care organizations. The methods for collecting these data are disparate and, for the most part, incompatible across organizations and institutions in the health care sector.
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