What is the meaning of diversity and inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion aren’t trendy buzzwords to include in a job description or a showy paragraph buried deep inside an annual report. Together, diversity and inclusion are the careful, deliberate, and conscious practice of welcoming, recruiting, working with, and serving people from a range of social and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations.
“As the U.S. population moves from white majority to no majority, a diverse workforce becomes a vital bridge between workplace and marketplace,” reports Diversity Best Practices. But studies indicate the demographics of the healthcare workforce still don’t reflect the U.S. population or communities served. Lack of diversity contributes to bias and communication errors and creates barriers for equitable healthcare access and quality of patient care.
“Awareness, inclusion, and equality are an important part of workplace training, and failure to take steps to address diversity can put your office at risk,” says Regina Mixon Bates, an Atlanta-based healthcare consultant and CEO of The Physicians Practice S.O.S. Group, a healthcare consulting and education firm that provides long-range planning, practice assessment, new practice set up, auditing, and training.
She is also a business philanthropist who serves on the board for National Black MBA Association- Atlanta Chapter as Director of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and has served as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association "Go Red For Women" since 2009.
“Today’s heightened awareness of cultural diversity filters into all aspects of our lives, including the workplace,” she says. “Without a strategic plan and consistent action, there will be no change which could lead to a Civil Rights violation lawsuit.”
Best Practices to Promote Diversity & Inclusion
“The promotion of diversity and inclusion starts at the top but everyone in the practice plays a role,” she says. “It is important to keep an open dialog with your team and set clear guidelines to report and address grievances to get your practice moving in the right direction.”
Regina has helped healthcare providers across the country streamline their business processes, improve practice operations and keep current with the ever-changing state and federal compliance guidelines. She says medical offices can do more to foster a culture of belonging. Modernize communication practices to foster a more welcoming environment where people feel safe and heard. Create a strategy aimed at identifying misinformation and potential violations before you are faced with a big problem.
Every medical office can spark positive change by adopting “fair chance hiring." It is just as much for the betterment of the business as it is the right thing to do.
Promote a Diverse, Inclusive Culture in Your Medical Office
Keep the conversation going! Get Regina's training session recording now for guidance on how to create a clear path for diversity and inclusiveness in your hiring and business practices.