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Collecting Patient Race, Ethnicity, & New American Information

We Ask Because We Care

University of Utah Health believes that our community cannot truly thrive until every Utahn has equal access to the essential elements of living a healthy life. Our commitment is to provide patient-centered, culturally responsive care to every patient and their family.

To provide better care for you, you will be asked for your race and ethnicity. If you are a New American, you may also be asked additional questions.

Providers will ask race and ethnicity questions every six months along with other demographic information, including sexual orientation, gender identity, preferred pronouns, and more. 

Sharing this information is up to you. If you are not comfortable disclosing the requested race and ethnicity, you may choose the option “choose not to disclose.”

Why We Ask About Race and Ethnicity

We ask about your race and ethnicity so we can effectively care for our community. We identify differences in care and develop changes to improve quality and service.

Defining Race & Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are constructs defined as a large group of people who share:

  • cultural expression,
  • background, and
  • identification.

In the biological and social sciences, there is consensus: race and ethnicity are political and social constructs, not reflective of genetic differences.

While race and ethnicity are political and social constructs, they impact access and outcomes of health care.

To provide effective patient-centered care for our community, we collect these data. Reliable data, especially racial, ethnic, and linguistic data, is necessary to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in health care.

New American

Defining New American

New American describes an individual who is new to the United States and was previously forced to flee their home country as a refugee. Once these individuals have sought refuge in the United States, we no longer refer to them as refugees, but rather, New Americans.

New Americans are vulnerable in different ways as they are experiencing Utah’s health care system for the first time. Many have experienced war trauma, unequal treatment, and access to resources that may affect their health. 

Providers and care teams can deliver culturally sensitive care if they understand their patient is a newcomer. University of Utah Health collaborates with local resources, resettlement agencies, and special programs to mitigate gaps in care and provide services for new Americans.

Race, Ethnicity, & New American Resettlement Information Use

Our system only uses this information to help your provider(s) meet your health care needs. In addition, as we consistently capture this information of all patients, we can identify gaps in care or service within our communities. This greatly impacts our ability to improve the care we give to patients.

Also, your information is protected by law, just like all your other health information. Your provider(s) and care team will have access to this since it is part of your medical record.

Why We Ask About Resettlement Information for New Americans

We collect resettlement information so we can more effectively care for our community, by identifying differences in care and develop interventions to improve the quality of care delivered to a specific population.* Additionally, we work to reduce inequities with high-quality data and information by tracking immediate problems and the underlying social determinants of health.*

How We Collect Resettlement Information

Patients may notify their registration team or care team that they are a newcomer to Utah. This information may also be provided by assistance of the patient’s resettlement agency health caseworker. 

We currently collect data on the following:

  • Primary agency
  • Secondary agency
  • Country of birth
  • Initial screen clinic
  • Data of arrival
  • Primary contact information
  • Secondary contact information
  • Country prior to the US
  • Initial screen date