Diversity in healthcare: time to get REAL!

Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois, USA.
Frontiers of health services management 03/2010; 26(3):3-17.
Source: PubMed


Cross-cultural healthcare involves three key issues: racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of healthcare provided to minority patients; cross-cultural value differences between immigrant patients and Western medical providers; and providing language access and assistance to limited English proficient (LEP) and disabled persons. Addressing these key issues represents a compelling diversity agenda for a new generation of healthcare executives. This article describes each of these challenges and the cutting-edge strategies that leading healthcare organizations are using to address them.

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    • "collect patient race and ethnicity data and tie it to patient outcomes (Armada and Hubbard 2010), which suggests that the overwhelming majority of hospitals may not buy into the idea of diversity's connection to financial success. More directed research that incorporates measures of leveraging leadership diversity, as a healthcare practice and imperative, will enable organizations to better define these issues. "
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    ABSTRACT: Leveraging diversity to successfully influence business operations is a business imperative for many healthcare organizations as they look to leadership to help manage a new era of culturally competent, patient-centered care that reduces health and healthcare disparities. This article presents the foundation for a business case in leadership diversity within healthcare organizations and describes the need for research on managerial solutions to health and healthcare disparities. It provides a discussion of clinical, policy, and management implications that will help support a business case for improving the diversity of leadership in healthcare organizations as a way to reduce health and healthcare disparities. Historical contexts introduce aspects of the business case for leveraging leadership diversity based on a desire for a culturally competent care organization. Little research exists on the impact that the role of leadership plays in addressing health disparities from a healthcare management perspective. This article provides practitioners and researchers with a rationale to invest in leadership diversity. It discusses three strategies that will help set the stage for a business case. First, provide empirical evidence of the link between diversity and performance. Second, link investments in diversity to financial outcomes and organizational metrics of success. Third, make organizational leadership responsible for cultural competence as a performance measure. In order to address health and healthcare disparities, collaborations between researchers and practitioners are necessary to effectively implement these strategies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of healthcare management / American College of Healthcare Executives
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    ABSTRACT: According to the recent Sullivan U.S. Commission on Diversity in the Health Care Workforce Report, there is a significant under-representation of minorities in the upper ranks of many health care organizations, such as hospitals. For example, some 13 percent of all health care employees in the U.S. are from other countries. However, many are considered to be in non-leadership roles. In addition, the report goes on and states that being part of a multicultural staff with its mixture of nationalities and cultures presents a series of challenges and opportunities. Therefore, a mandate exists for hospital administrators to generate culturally inclusive organizations. As concluded in the same report, diversity paves the way for new innovations in practices and results in better decision-making through a more positive and nurturing environment. Since leaders in organizations generally have a strong influence on how cultural diversity is enhanced, an important step is to maintain a culturally diverse leadership team. This research here obtains data from two groups of leaders in hospitals: those in senior leadership (president, vice-president, CFO, etc.) and those in lower levels of leadership (mid-management). The hypothesis tested is: There are no significant differences between the perceptions of those hospital administrators in senior levels of leadership and those in mid-management as to their organization's practices to promote a culturally inclusive workplace This research is a status study for determining just where we are currently in generating a diverse workforce in health care. In 1995, it was reported that only 1 percent of administrators were minorities. In 2010, this study clarifies exactly where we are after 15 + years, and what practices are now in existence to enhance recruitment, retention, and promotion of minorities to higher levels of leadership, particularly in this instance in hospitals.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012