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We Ask Because We Care

Across Yale New Haven Health, we are committed to continuously improving the equity, quality and safety of our patient care. We believe that every patient has the right to respectful, dignified, high quality and safe health care. 

We collect and use patient demographic information to ensure we are providing health care that does not vary in quality or safety because of personal characteristics such as preferred language, race, ethnicity or ethnic background. By learning more about what makes our patients unique, it allows our team to verify that we are delivering the highest quality and safest health care to all our patients. 

Thank you for helping us do that.

we ask because we care

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we ask about race, ethnicity, ethnic background and language?

We ask all our patients about their race, ethnicity, ethnic background and preferred language. Why? Because everyone is unique, and everyone deserves the best health outcomes.

Who will ask me these questions?

Yale New Haven Health staff members in our call center and patient services areas may ask these questions. Front desk staff and members of your care team may ask you too. They have all been trained to ask these questions. If you self-register through MyChart or our kiosks, you will be asked these questions as well.

What new information will I be asked?

We are asking all our patients about their:

  • Race: Represents a broad categorization of people based on social, cultural and/or physical characteristics.
  • Ethnicity: Indicates whether a patient identifies as either “Hispanic or Latina/o/e” or “Not Hispanic or Latino/a/e.”
  • Ethnic background: Represents the part(s) of the world that you or your ancestors came from.
  • Preferred Spoken Language: The language a patient feels most comfortable speaking when communicating with medical staff.
  • Preferred Written Language: The language a patient feels most comfortable with when reading or reviewing documents related to their health care.


Who will see the information? How will it be shared?

This information is confidential. We limit access to patient information, including race and ethnicity. This information has the same health protections as your other health information.

What if there are questions that I do not want to answer?

You do not have to answer them. It will not affect your care. Your doctor may also ask these questions privately during your visit. You do not have to share your answers. You can also ask your doctor questions.

What if I am more comfortable providing this information without having to speak to a Yale New Haven Health employee or clinician?

The MyChart patient portal is set up to allow patients to enter race, ethnicity, ethnic background and preferred spoken language information themselves. You can enter as much or as little information as you want. For more information about MyChart, go to the MyChart signup page.


Update your personal information in MyChart.