Caring for diverse patients requires a workforce who can strive to understand and meet their needs, and facilitate culturally-competent care delivery. Different cultures vary in the ways in which health and illness are perceived and care is accessed.
Evidence shows that if we are able to communicate effectively in the languages of our patients, and provide individualized care that reflects cultural differences and health beliefs, we will not only provide a more welcoming environment – but also improve their entire health care experience and help improve health outcomes.
For Texas Health Resources, a strong commitment to affirmative action goals and equal employment opportunity is a sound business practice. We base employment decision on merit, qualifications and abilities. We are making concerted efforts to recruit and grow a diverse our employee population primarily by:
- Encouraging students from diverse ethnic backgrounds to enter the field of health care through scholarships, partnerships with local colleges and universities, and our “grow your own” program.
- Providing multifunctional work teams with the tools and resources they need to understand cultural differences so that they can extend that knowledge to others in the care of diverse patient populations.
- Evaluating and evolving how we engage and strengthen our relationship with diverse employees each year.
North Texas is home to diverse communities, but qualified candidates are limited in supply, which is why we set goals to drive progress in this area. In 2011-2012, we increased our percentage of professionals of color and technical staff to 37.8 percent, which is similar to our community demographics.
In coming years, we plan to put programs in place to increase the pipeline of Hispanic nursing and allied health professionals, and hire additional ethnically diverse employees.