Discuss The Benefits and Barriers of Diversity in Healthcare Organizations.

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Gottlieb, L., Fichtenberg, C., Alterwick, H., & Adler, N. (2019). Social determinants of health: What’s a healthcare system to do? Links to an external site.The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-18-00160. https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?qurl=https://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi%3fT=JS%26CSC=Y%26NEWS=N%26PAGE=fulltext%26AN=00115514-201908000-00009%26LSLINK=80%26D=ovft Weaver, S., Hess, R., Williams, B., Guinta, L., & Paliwal, M. (2018). Measuring shared governance: One healthcare system’s experienceLinks to an external site.. Nursing Management. October, 11-14. https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?qurl=https://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi%3fT=JS%26CSC=Y%26NEWS=N%26PAGE=fulltext%26AN=00006247-201810000-00004%26LSLINK=80%26D=ovft Quain, S. (2018). Organizational effectiveness vs. organizational efficiencyLinks to an external site.. Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/organizational-effectiveness-vs-organizational-efficiency-22413.html U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2019). Health information technologyLinks to an external site.. HHS.gov. https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/health-information-technology/index.html. Identify the benefits of working in a diverse healthcare organization. Include the benefits to patient care. Identify the barriers to developing a diverse organization. Apply your dominant leadership style and address the identified barriers to assist your organization in becoming more diverse.

The Benefits and Barriers of Diversity in Healthcare Organizations


This essay explores the benefits of working in a diverse healthcare organization, with a focus on how diversity can enhance patient care. It also examines the barriers to developing diversity in healthcare organizations and provides strategies for overcoming these barriers using dominant leadership styles.


Healthcare organizations play a crucial role in providing quality healthcare services to diverse patient populations. Diversity within these organizations is not only a matter of representation but also a strategic imperative for delivering patient-centered care. In this essay, we will discuss the benefits of working in a diverse healthcare organization, particularly how diversity positively impacts patient care. We will also explore the barriers that hinder the development of diversity in healthcare settings and propose strategies, guided by dominant leadership styles, to address these challenges.

Benefits of Working in a Diverse Healthcare Organization:

  1. Cultural Competence and Sensitivity: One of the primary benefits of a diverse healthcare organization is the development of cultural competence and sensitivity among staff members. When healthcare professionals come from various cultural backgrounds, they bring unique perspectives and insights into patient care. They are better equipped to understand the diverse needs, beliefs, and practices of patients from different cultures, which leads to improved patient-provider relationships (Gottlieb et al., 2019).
  2. Enhanced Communication: Diversity fosters the development of language skills and enhances communication abilities within healthcare teams. Effective communication is critical in healthcare settings to ensure that patients receive the right information and care. A diverse workforce can bridge language gaps and facilitate clear and accurate communication with patients and their families.
  3. Innovative Problem-Solving: Diversity brings together individuals with different life experiences and problem-solving approaches. This diversity of thought can lead to innovative solutions to complex healthcare challenges. Healthcare organizations benefit from diverse teams that can brainstorm, collaborate, and adapt to changing situations more effectively (Weaver et al., 2018).
  4. Expanded Skill Sets: A diverse healthcare organization often includes professionals with a wide range of skills, specialties, and experiences. This diversity of expertise allows healthcare teams to offer a broader spectrum of services and treatments, ensuring that patients receive comprehensive care tailored to their unique needs.
  5. Reduced Health Disparities: Diversity in healthcare organizations has been linked to a reduction in health disparities. When healthcare providers reflect the demographics of their patient populations, patients are more likely to receive equitable care. This, in turn, can contribute to improved health outcomes for marginalized and underserved communities (Gottlieb et al., 2019).
  6. Improved Employee Satisfaction: Employees in diverse healthcare organizations tend to report higher levels of job satisfaction. They appreciate the opportunity to work in an inclusive environment where their perspectives and backgrounds are valued. This increased job satisfaction can lead to higher retention rates and lower turnover, which benefits the organization in terms of stability and cost savings.

Benefits of Diversity to Patient Care:

  1. Culturally Tailored Care: A diverse healthcare workforce can provide culturally tailored care that respects and aligns with patients’ cultural beliefs and practices. Patients are more likely to follow treatment plans and trust their healthcare providers when care is delivered in a culturally sensitive manner.
  2. Reduced Stereotyping and Bias: Diverse healthcare teams are less likely to rely on stereotypes or exhibit bias when diagnosing and treating patients. This helps in delivering unbiased care and reduces the likelihood of misdiagnosis or undertreatment, particularly for minority patients.
  3. Improved Access to Care: Diverse healthcare organizations often have staff members who can communicate in multiple languages. This helps patients with limited English proficiency or non-native speakers to access healthcare services more easily.
  4. Enhanced Patient Engagement: Patients tend to feel more comfortable and engaged when interacting with healthcare providers who share their cultural background or have similar life experiences. This can lead to better patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans.
  5. Increased Trust: Patients are more likely to trust healthcare providers from diverse backgrounds. Trust is a critical factor in patient-provider relationships, and it can lead to better communication and more open discussions about health concerns.
  6. Patient-Centered Approach: A diverse healthcare team is more likely to adopt a patient-centered approach to care, where the patient’s preferences and values are considered when making treatment decisions. This leads to care plans that align more closely with patients’ goals and desires.

Barriers to Developing a Diverse Healthcare Organization:

  1. Implicit Bias: Implicit bias refers to unconscious stereotypes and prejudices that can influence decision-making and behavior. One of the significant barriers to diversity in healthcare is the presence of implicit bias among hiring managers and decision-makers. These biases can lead to discriminatory hiring practices and hinder efforts to diversify the workforce (Gottlieb et al., 2019).
  2. Lack of Representation at Leadership Levels: Another barrier is the underrepresentation of minority groups at leadership levels within healthcare organizations. When leadership positions lack diversity, it can send a message that there is limited upward mobility for diverse employees, discouraging them from pursuing careers in healthcare.
  3. Limited Pipeline of Diverse Talent: Some healthcare organizations face challenges in attracting diverse talent due to limitations in the pipeline of candidates from underrepresented groups. Factors such as educational disparities and limited access to opportunities can contribute to this barrier.
  4. Institutionalized Discrimination: Historical discrimination and systemic biases within healthcare institutions can create a hostile or unwelcoming environment for diverse employees. This institutionalized discrimination can deter individuals from pursuing or staying in healthcare careers.
  5. Resistance to Change: Resistance to change is a common barrier in many organizations, including healthcare. Some employees may resist diversity initiatives, viewing them as threats to their own positions or traditions within the organization.
  6. Lack of Inclusive Policies: Healthcare organizations may lack inclusive policies and practices that support diversity and inclusion. This includes policies related to recruitment, retention, and career advancement, as well as diversity training programs.

Applying Dominant Leadership Styles to Address Barriers:

  1. Transformational Leadership: Transformational leaders are visionary and inspire change. To address barriers to diversity, transformational leaders can set a clear vision of a diverse and inclusive healthcare organization. They can actively promote diversity initiatives, challenge implicit biases, and create a culture of inclusion. By modeling the importance of diversity, transformational leaders can motivate others to embrace change and work toward a more diverse workforce (Quain, 2018).
  2. Transactional Leadership: Transactional leaders focus on structured processes and accountability. In addressing barriers, transactional leaders can implement measurable diversity goals and hold individuals and teams accountable for meeting these objectives. They can establish reward systems that recognize and incentivize diversity and inclusion efforts, promoting a results-oriented approach to diversity initiatives.
  3. Servant Leadership: Servant leaders prioritize the well-being of their employees and stakeholders. To address barriers to diversity, servant leaders can actively listen to the concerns and needs of diverse employees. They can provide support and resources to help individuals overcome barriers and promote a sense of belonging within the organization. By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, servant leaders can encourage diverse talent to thrive.
  4. Charismatic Leadership: Charismatic leaders have a magnetic personality that inspires others. To address diversity barriers, charismatic leaders can use their influence to rally support for diversity initiatives. They can engage in persuasive communication, sharing compelling stories and anecdotes that highlight the benefits of diversity. Charismatic leaders can also lead by example, demonstrating a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  5. Autocratic Leadership: Autocratic leaders make decisions independently and enforce them. While this leadership style may not be ideal for fostering a culture of inclusion, autocratic leaders can still play a role in addressing diversity barriers by mandating diversity training and adherence to inclusive policies. However, they should also be open to feedback and adapt their approach when necessary to ensure a more collaborative and inclusive environment.


Diversity in healthcare organizations is essential for delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. The benefits of diversity extend to improved cultural competence, enhanced communication, innovative problem-solving, and reduced health disparities. However, barriers such as implicit bias, lack of representation at leadership levels, and resistance to change can hinder diversity initiatives.

By applying dominant leadership styles, healthcare organizations can address these barriers effectively. Transformational leaders can inspire a vision of diversity and inclusion, transactional leaders can set measurable goals, servant leaders can support diverse employees, charismatic leaders can rally support, and even autocratic leaders can enforce inclusive policies.

Ultimately, embracing diversity in healthcare organizations is not just an ethical imperative but also a strategic advantage. By overcoming barriers and promoting diversity, healthcare organizations can better meet the needs of their diverse patient populations and provide equitable, patient-centered care.


  1. Gottlieb, L., Fichtenberg, C., Alterwick, H., & Adler, N. (2019). Social determinants of health: What’s a healthcare system to do? The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives. doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-18-00160.
  2. Weaver, S., Hess, R., Williams, B., Guinta, L., & Paliwal, M. (2018). Measuring shared governance: One healthcare system’s experience. Nursing Management, October, 11-14.
  3. Quain, S. (2018). Organizational effectiveness vs. organizational efficiency. Chron.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2019). Health information technology. HHS.gov.

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