Health care disparities can arise at many points in the process of living, illness, access and care. It follows that research can occur at any point, as shown by the variety of recent OHEI projects.
The goal of OHEI’s ongoing Catchment Area Study is to assess health need, community resources and potential gaps in health care. This project's approach is to analyze secondary data from public sources, such as the U.S. Census and government websites. Desired outcomes are to help providers better understand their patients’ communities and to identify points at which interventions might improve community health.
As there are multiple aspects of the “underserved,” this study is ongoing. Slated next is OHEI’s examination of environmental factors.
Patient Perception Survey
We surveyed potential patients in our catchment area to compare their perceptions of Michigan Medicine and our competition. To see if priorities, perceptions and obstacles differ by racial group, we intentionally over sampled Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic and Arab American groups, which had not been done previously.
Broadly, outcome studies involve a model that considers socio-demographics, past care, current health, treatment and outcomes. The model requires a collaborating physician who is an expert in the procedures and outcomes being examined and typically a student with time available to dedicate to the project. The intent is for the expert to coach the student to identify all measures related to the gold standard of care and previous care/comorbidities that might influence research outcomes so they can be controlled in analysis.