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Hospitals slowly make headway in diversity efforts

 Almost 9 percent of chief executives of hospitals are minorities, up from less than 2 percent in 1995, according to Fred Hobby, president and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, which is an affiliate of the American Hospital Association Institute.

"It's slow progress, but it is progress," Hobby told Hospitals & Health Networks columnist Marty Stempniak.

Less than half (48 percent) of hospitals have a documented plan to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, according to a report by the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, released yesterday.

"What we're looking for is leadership teams and boards that reflect the community they serve," Hobby said in the H&HN column.

Nationally, 29 percent of patients are minorities, a figure that is expected to grow under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, minority hospital board members and executive leaders only make up 14 percent each of their positions. Minorities also only make up 15 percent of first- and mid-level positions, according to the report.

 

Minority representation in executive leadership roles

Chief financial officer

7%

CEO

9%

Chief nursing officer

10%

Chief operating officer

14%

Chief HR officer

14%

Chief medical officer

16%

Chief diversity officer

60%

 

Minority representation in hospital leadership and governance

 

C-suite positions

Hospital board membership

Patients

White

86%

86%

71%

Black/African American

7%

6%

12%

Hispanic or Latino

3%

3%

9%

Asian

2%

2%

2%

Two or more races

1%

2%

2%

American Indian/Alaska Native

1%

1%

1%

Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander

0%

0%

1%

Yesterday's report brings with it mixed news about the goal toward diversity. Although the leadership positions don't quite represent the patient population in terms of the number of minorities, hospitals are making headway.

Eighty-one percent of hospitals reported providing cultural competency training to all their clinical staff during orientation about cultural and linguistic factors affecting care. Sixty-one percent of hospitals require all employees to attend diversity training.

Most hospitals are collecting patient demographic data on race (94 percent), ethnicity (87 percent), primary language (90 percent) and disability status (70 percent). With those data, hospitals can better deliver care to their diverse patients and develop appropriate quality improvement interventions, according to AHA.

"Hospitals are committed to ensuring that all patients receive the very best care for their particular needs," AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock, said in an AHA News Now brief.

For more information:
- check out the survey report (.pdf)
- see the AHA News Now brief
- read the Hospitals & Health Networks article

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