Diversity in Healthcare
Healthcare organizations have a growing responsibility to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts not only for their employees, but also to better serve patients and their families. DEI has been a recent focus for businesses and organizations across the world, but perhaps none stand to make a greater impact than the healthcare industry, as it directly affects patient health outcomes and quality of life in a profound way. In terms of healthcare, DEI efforts help organizations address:
Diversity: Understanding the background of employees and patients being served, including culture, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status. Also, hiring and retaining a workforce that is representative of the patient population served.
Equity: Ensuring healthcare workers have what they need to do their jobs and patients have what they need in and out of treatment settings to effectively benefit from best practices in treatment (not to be confused with equality).
Inclusion: Giving both employees and patients a voice to help provide/receive high-quality care, and encouraging the presence of a diverse healthcare staff in the treatment experience of patients.
By working to bolster DEI efforts, healthcare organizations have a unique opportunity to improve the lives of those providing and receiving care. Given that this is such an important responsibility, it can be difficult to know where to begin.