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How Health Systems Are Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion

in Industry Insider

Health systems are dedicated to providing quality care for all patients, no matter their background. But even though minorities make up 32% of health system patients, they make up just 14% of board members, 11% of executive hospital leadership, and 19% of mid- and first-level managers. 

To provide quality care equally, hospitals must be diverse and inclusive from the top down, and caregivers must have a fundamental knowledge of what it means to appreciate and respect different cultures. Only then — when leadership and staff are as diverse as patients — can health systems be inclusive and capable of delivering equal care to all, regardless of gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

The Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

Diverse and inclusive workforces are paramount to a welcoming hospital setting. But there are other concrete benefits health systems can see when they prioritize equality, such as increasing the potential for creativity, innovation, and motivation:

  • Companies with a good balance of men and women are 21% more likely to outperform the competition. 
  • Companies with a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 33% more likely to outperform the competition in profitability.
  • Teams with gender, age, and ethnic diversity make better decisions up to 87% of the time. 

How Health Systems Are Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion

Many health systems are recognizing the benefits of increasing diversity among their organizations. They also recognize that change does not happen on its own — it starts with purposeful, leadership-driven initiatives. To get an idea of how health systems are approaching their goals for increased diversity and inclusion, below are some real industry examples. 

For many health systems, diversity and inclusion are first addressed through the recruitment process. In fact, 79% of hospitals educate clinical staff during onboarding about addressing cultural and language differences with patients. These types of trainings can help staff keep an open mind, and equip them with the knowledge they need to properly care for diverse patients. 

The healthcare system Cleveland Clinic has set specific goals to increase diversity and become more inclusive of the patients and communities they serve. By 2024, they pledge to have a health system leadership as diverse as these communities. To do this, they have taken significant steps, such as supporting the anti-sexual harassment policies of Time’s Up Healthcare, implementing culturally specific support lines for Hispanic and LGBTQ patients, and prioritzing diversity in recruitment, education, and collaborations. 

In 2018, AMN Healthcare announced their diversity and inclusion numbers across their organization: 66% of their entire team are women, 34% are nonwhite, 56% are millennials, and 62% of supervisors and senior managers are women. AMN has pledged to keep improving in many areas by creating talent management strategies for diversity, creating employee resource support groups, providing unconscious bias training, and becoming a member of the Gender Inequality Index and the Human Rights Campaign Index.

How Can You Implement Diversity and Inclusion Into Talent Management?

Now that you have an idea of how other healthcare systems are prioritizing diversity and inclusion, you can turn your gaze to your own organization. Do you have diversity and inclusion goals? How can you meet them? What steps can you take TODAY to move toward progress? 

For many health systems, change begins with recruitment. When you bring on core staff and look to fill open shifts with contingent workers, you want to make sure you are meeting your diversity and inclusion goals. A simple way to do this is to leverage technology you might already have: a vendor management system (VMS). 

A VMS increases insight into your workforce, helping you see the broader picture of who you’re hiring, how they’re performing, and how you can improve. But it also gives you the tools to meet your diversity and inclusion goals through diverse vendor pools, increased visibility, and all-encompassing support. 

Contact ShiftWise today to see how a VMS can encourage diversity and inclusion in your health system. 









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