ENA Emergency Severity Index racial bias

June 2021
Updated: October 2021

STAT reports that a number of healthcare delivery and planning algorithms widely used across the US are actively reinforcing existing racial and economic biases.

Researchers at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business' Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence assessed (pdf) algorithms that help emergency rooms triage patients and predict diabetes, amongst other uses.

The researchers single out The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)'s Emergency Severity Index, which is found to underestimate the severity of Black peoples' problems and sugggest they are sicker than they are.

Operator: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

Developer: Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

Country: USA

Sector: Health

Purpose: Assess medical condition
Technology: Triage algorithm

Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, economy
Opacity: Black box