Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

No more a good-to-have

Prasanthi Sadhu

Prasanthi Sadhu

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Prasanthi Sadhu Editor, Asian Hospitals and Healthcare Management

“Currently, the state of diversity in healthcare still has a long way to go to be representative of the general populations that we serve.”
– Luz Claudio, Professor, Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine

Providing healthcare services means the timely use of health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes. At the end of the day, what matters is patient experience, recovery and quality of life. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are the two key factors that highly impact patient health outcomes and are very essential in keeping the staff engaged and improving patient experience.

In healthcare, an individual or group may feel discriminated against when they experience negative actions or lack of consideration. The two main types of discriminatory experience acts are macroaggressions and microaggressions. The former represent radical forms of racism while the latter are short, everyday insults or snubs.

In the modern age, companies need to embrace diversity to remain relevant and thrive in an everchanging marketplace. DE&I helps employees feel respected, valued, and heard; it needs to be an integral part of organisation culture. Companies with a solid commitment to equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EEDI) have seen benefits such as improved innovation, enhanced brand reputation, and the ability to attract and retain talent effectively, according to the Workforce Institute D&I Report 2021.

Globally, there is a long way to go for society to become more diverse, equal, and inclusive. However, Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries are evolving in showing progress in DEI compared to other parts of the world. While in APAC, there is a greater importance to maintaining archaic and outdated values that can make it challenging to practice inclusivity. Organisations can no longer look at DE&I as a mere initiative as this will to be a core component for healthcare institutions. Universities, hospitals, and research facilities must implement inclusive frameworks within their systems.

The post-pandemic era has changed our lives in many ways. Advanced technologies and online communication platforms are connecting people widely regardless of physical location. Leveraging technology and digital innovations to drive diversity & inclusion activities can help organisations achieve their goals faster.

The cover story in this issue by Elliott Parris, Co-Founder, Embrace, Elsevier Employee Resource Group highlights the steps that healthcare institutions can take to start prioritising diversity and inclusivity in practice; How technology is driving to bridge inequality gaps. Added comments by our previous contributor Peggy Wu, Vice President, AbbVie, Asia highlight factors to consider for a successful roll-out of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

--Issue 58--