Quality of care should not vary on the basis of 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. The Affordable Care Act aimed to address access and equity of care issues by expanding health insurance coverage. Deficits in access to care changes the way healthcare is delivered and financed.
To embrace 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.
*This program has been developed and is presented locally by the Missouri Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Program pending 1.5 Virtual Face-to-Face Education Credits.
Stacy Doyle, Ph.D., RN, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE
Senior Vice President, Ambulatory and Physician Practice Operations
Children’s Mercy Kansas City