Are We Making Progress?

January 27, 2014

Health care is primarily about treating and healing those that are sick. If the patient gets better due to a prescribed drug or a set cast, then you are doing your job well. When it comes to equity, the end goal is obvious–equal care and outcomes for all--but our progress can be less easily seen.

In 2011, we surveyed the hospital field about diversity and disparities practices to learn where we stood. We assumed we had more work to do and we were right. The survey moves us beyond anecdote and into hard data. It also provides a national perspective for us to gauge our individual progress. From the data collected, we also set goals and milestones for the field. These are all positive steps, because as they say, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Therefore, it is again time for us to measure our work in equity. Recently, the Institute and the Health Research & Educational Trust mailed hospital CEOs a survey to learn more about hospitals' efforts to address health care disparities and improve diversity management practices.  This is an update to the 2011 survey and a chance for us to see if we are making progress.

Have you taken the survey? If you don’t know, please ask. You can even ask us and we will check for you. The higher our response rate, the more accurate the results will be.  Above all else, your responses are a testament to your organization’s growing momentum to reduce disparities and promote diversity. All hospitals are encouraged to complete the survey.

The survey results will be shared at the Institute's 2014 National Leadership and Education Conference, June 12-13, in Chicago. In addition, all responding hospitals will be eligible to receive a customized benchmarking report relating their performance to that of other responding organizations.

Time is tight to complete the survey, with the deadline already extended to Thursday, February 27. However, because your support is so important, if you intend to take the survey and can’t meet the deadline, contact us (kkenward@aha.org) and we will do our best to accommodate you.

With your support, we can answer the question (hopefully in the affirmative): Are we making progress?


Fred Hobby
President & CEO
Institute for Diversity in Health Management

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