Medical Records for Black People Include More Negative Descriptors


Published: February 20, 2022

Two recent studies found that Black patients are more likely than patients of other races to be described as “noncompliant” or “non-adherent” in their medical records. These terms describe patients who refuse to cooperate in their own care and follow the doctor’s recommendations. Providers often assume Black patients are unwilling to follow protocols when perhaps many of these patients are actually dealing with financial obstacles, difficulties finding transportation, or a language barrier. Individuals with type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, and those on Medicare or Medicaid were also more likely to have negative descriptors in their records.

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