Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Disparities in Patient Safety Events for Hospitalized Children

GAPPS Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have revealed racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in quality of care and patient safety. However, these disparities have not been examined in a pediatric inpatient environment by using a measure of clinically confirmed adverse events (AEs). In this study, we do so using the Global Assessment of Pediatric Patient Safety (GAPPS) Trigger Tool. METHODS: GAPPS was applied to medical records of randomly selected pediatric patients discharged from 16 hospitals in the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings Network across 4 US regions from January 2007 to December 2012. Disparities in AEs for hospitalized children were identified on the basis of patient race/ethnicity (black, Latino, white, or other; N = 17 336 patient days) and insurance status (public, private, or self-pay/no insurance; N = 19 030 patient days). RESULTS: Compared with hospitalized non-Latino white children, hospitalized Latino children experienced higher rates of all AEs (Latino: 30.1 AEs per 1000 patient days versus white: 16.9 AEs per 1000 patient days; P ≤ .001), preventable AEs (Latino: 15.9 AEs per 1000 patient days versus white: 8.9 AEs per 1000 patient days; P = .002), and high-severity AEs (Latino: 12.6 AEs per 1000 patient days versus white: 7.7 AEs per 1000 patient days; P = .02). Compared with privately insured children, publicly insured children experienced higher rates of preventable AEs (public: 12.1 AEs per 1000 patient days versus private: 8.5 AEs per 1000 patient days; P = .02). No significant differences were observed among other groups. CONCLUSIONS: The GAPPS analysis revealed racial and/or ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in rates of AEs experienced by hospitalized children across a broad range of geographic and hospital settings. Further investigation may reveal underlying mechanisms of these disparities and could help hospitals reduce harm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalHospital Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics

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