An inclusive leader can successfully lead a diverse group of people, while showing respect for each person’s unique perspective and contributions. Today, nowhere is this more important than in healthcare, where patients’ lives are on the line every day.

Inclusive leadership requires a certain combination of traits, including:

Staff burnout in 2021 has reached crisis levels, threatening the health of organizations, providers, and patients across the country. Since the start of the pandemic, between 60 percent and 75 percent of clinicians have reported conditions that include exhaustion, depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety, according to Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, at a November webinar hosted by U.S. News & World Report.

Employee health and well-being took center stage for many workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers faced difficult decisions regarding remote work, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and time off for employees who needed to quarantine after falling ill or being exposed to the novel coronavirus. Employees struggled with concerns about viral exposure in the workplace. In addition, employees often experienced high stress from increased workloads or financial uncertainty, as more workplaces had to furlough or terminate employees due to financial difficulties.

Many organizations commit to enhancing both diversity and inclusion, but most companies end up pushing diversity measures while falling short on improving inclusion. Diversity is easier to measure concretely through data collected from applicants and employees. As long as people are willing to disclose demographic information, you can monitor diversity.

Remote work options for healthcare employees expanded significantly in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although on-site work has resumed as usual in many organizations, there’s no doubt that telecommuting has achieved new popularity among both healthcare employers and employees.

As an industry that impacts all individuals and groups, including the most vulnerable, healthcare can play a major role in achieving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This begins with the healthcare workplace, and requires the involvement of healthcare human resources (HR). 

HR leaders understand the importance of developing a strong team, making them key to diversity and inclusion. Healthcare HR departments know the value of reaching out to all possible groups to find top quality individuals who can offer unique, valuable perspectives in the workplace.

Employee engagement has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery. Within the past decade, healthcare HR teams demonstrated a strong correlation between employee engagement and better patient outcomes and experiences. Today, the evidence is insurmountable. 

Why Healthcare HR Should Embrace Artificial Intelligence

Many supporters of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare promote its potential for improving diagnostics, predicting treatment effectiveness and patient outcomes, and providing new insights into EHR data and population health. While AI does have potential for clinical application, it may also have a future in healthcare human resource (HR) departments.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are increasingly focused on improving the quality of patient care. This is driven partly by the move to value-based reimbursement models, competition among healthcare companies, and the more recent COVID-19 public health emergency, which put a spotlight on healthcare’s strengths and weaknesses.

With more attention than ever placed on the quality of care, what can healthcare organizations do to improve? Here are a few ideas you should consider.

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