In healthcare, representation and inclusion are so important. Patient populations are diverse, so care needs to reflect the different backgrounds and experiences of individuals. Diversity amongst providers can also help deliver higher quality care with more understanding and representation. Healthcare systems can also see advancements and better outcomes by promoting diversity with their staffing and patient care.
When considering diversity in healthcare, differences in ethnicity, gender, age, abilities, sexual orientation, religion, education, and socioeconomics can impact our experiences. These distinctions can sometimes lead to misunderstanding or division, but diversity can also bring us together and unite us. Let’s explore some ways that diversity benefits the workplace as well as patient care and outcomes.
Advantages of Diversity in Healthcare
1. More Compassionate Care
We all can have biases and be susceptible to stereotyping or judging others. Learning about and understanding others’ backgrounds and experiences can help us be more empathetic and inclusive. Compassionate healthcare professionals provide better patient by building a bond with their patients, making sure they’re comfortable, as well as reducing their fears and stress.
As a healthcare professional, caring for others is a huge motivation to your work. It’s essential to reduce inequity within healthcare, especially with access to care based on factors such as socioeconomics, race and ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
2. Better Relationships
When healthcare providers approach patients with acceptance and understanding, patients are more likely to trust their provider. When there is prejudice in patient care, serious symptoms can be overlooked. Patients may even avoid seeking care. It’s important to connect with patients in order to understand them and gain trust.
More inclusivity and representation amongst healthcare professionals can help ease patient anxieties, increase compliance, and improve outcomes as well. The more healthcare providers can reflect the demographics and diversity of their community, the more patients will feel represented and understood.
3. Drive Innovation
Diverse perspectives can lead to increased productivity and improved process. It’s critical for healthcare companies to include diverse opinions when it comes to process improvements and decision making. Better representation leads to more creativity as well as improved brainstorming and solutions. Innovation can include new techniques and treatments, process efficiencies,
4. Increased Engagement
Representing employees' interests means healthcare professionals can have a stake in their company and the way their facility runs. This helps create policies and procedures that have increased buy-in and adaption. By involving diverse opinions in your decision-making, you can improve staff management and healthcare delivery.
Higher engagement is also a great way to retain talented healthcare professionals and reduce staff turnover. Whether permanent staff are more satisfied with their work, or temporary staff on assignments choose to extend or refer a friend to work for your company, it’s a win-win for healthcare employees and employers.
5. Improved Reputation
The better a company can reflect its community and demonstrate inclusivity, the better it will connect to the community it serves. Attracting a wider pool of job seekers allows for hiring of more diversely qualified healthcare professionals. In addition to attracting providers to work at a healthcare company that fosters diversity, the resulting patient care will also draw patients to your services too.
Promoting Diversity in Healthcare
The value of diversity in healthcare is apparent, so we need to look for ways to cultivate it more. Some of the ways we can look at increasing diversity and inclusion is through more inclusive hiring practices, forming an internal diversity committee, and training providers on implicit biases in patient care.
We must commit to promoting inclusion and representation in healthcare in order to come together and create change. By continuing to educate ourselves about disparities and inequalities, we can work together towards a more equitable healthcare system.