The purpose of demographic data collection is to provide access to actionable data that is essential for working on equity in healthcare.
To ensure that equity is embedded in healthcare access and delivery, demographic data is used to identify existing gaps, develop plans targeting those gaps, and evaluate performance. In short, the demographic data will be used to apply an equity dimension to the study health outcomes.
To start hospitals thinking about plans for applying demographic data toward health equity, we recommend a look at a very insightful paper Creating Equity Reports: A Guide for Hospitals by Weinick, Flaherty, and Bristol (2008) that outlines the activities around health equity planning, including information on the importance of demographic data collection. The most helpful component is the various case studies they provide us with.