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Healthcare Leaders Diversifying Ranks, Gap Remains

Wednesday, February 01, 2012
The belief that a diverse workforce is a key component to institutional success is increasing among healthcare leaders, according to a recent Witt/Kieffer survey. However, progress in diversifying the ranks of top leadership, remains a challenge. Witt/Kieffer Senior Vice President Jim Gauss discusses the survey, conducted in partnership with the AHA's Institute for Diversity in Health Management, Asian Health Care Leaders Association, National Association of Health Services Executives and the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives, in Hospitals & Health Networks.
The survey results reflect the changing viewpoint among healthcare leaders that diversity is essential to any healthcare organization. Two-thirds of respondents say having a culturally diverse workforce can improve patient satisfaction and 46 percent believe diversity on staff improves clinical outcomes. "For them to clearly indicate there's a clinical and business case for having this body of work inside your organization, it's very safe to say that the message has gotten through," Gauss says.

However, there is work be done to close the minority leadership gap; only 13 percent of respondents believe the gap is closed and there are differing opinions on the reasons for the barriers to closing the leadership gap. Although the minority leadership gap remains, Gauss notes that healthcare organizations have made significant progress in recent years. "There are really many more health systems and medical centers that have embraced this work over the last five to 10 years," Gauss says.

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