Quality of care should not vary based on the patients’ socioeconomic, ethnic, gender or geographic background. It is known however, that there is a healthcare divide in the U.S. especially in vulnerable populations including those lacking health insurance (or are underfunded), low-income families, racial and ethnic minorities and LGBTQ populations.
Embracing diversity is a core principle of the healthcare management profession and is also an ethical and business imperative. Healthcare organizations must ensure their staff is educated on disparities to appropriately address the needs of patients from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to provide equitable high-quality care to all. It has been shown that patient-centered care improves clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing medical errors and costs. Eliminating healthcare disparities provides a strategic component to ensure organizational excellence and long-term financial viability.
Christopher Kunney, CPHIMS, CPHIT, MSMOT, Chief of Strategy & Business Development
JoAnne Hill, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Piedmont Healthcare
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