A couple months ago (April 4) I began writing a series that I entitled Culture and Quality. As the conversation has evolved a new model has emerged. We have entitled it the: Diversity HealthWorks' Cultural Competence-Quality Framework for Healthcare Excellence.
The premise of the model is based on what we have seen over the past year in the diversity dialogue in all industries including healthcare: contraction and a general lack of cohesion about the future of what diversity and inclusion can be and/or needs to be in our corporations and organizations. We simply have not elevated the idea of diversity to that of a core business function that is unquestionable.
Now of course there are exceptions to this rule, but overwhelmingly, most people/companies frame diversity and inclusion as "causes" that they are committed to. Historically, the framing of what I call cause-oriented diversity and what it stands for have been absolutely necessary. To this day, this remains true. Nonetheless, herein lies the conundrum:
1. If diversity is more cause-oriented how does it line up next to other core business functions such as marketing, sales, fulfillment, and all related measures assessing core functions?
2. What if the "cause" of diversity is not held in at a steady level of urgency like other core business functions?
3. Since by their nature causes change--does diversity change or even potentially go away?
No matter how we answer these questions, and I am sure we could (and have) discuss each from different perspectives for days, the fact remains that if a cause-oriented diversity leaning is perceived as the norm, inevitably someone or some group can claim or feign that they are not accountable.
On the other hand, there is Quality. What about quality? Quality is. . .
--It is ALWAYS in the budget!
You will never hear any one say out loud that quality is something that is "nice to have but not a need to have". Quality is at the foundation of every organization in one capacity or another. Even if the ambition of delivering the "highest quality" of this, that, or the other is not yet realized, the ambition and possibility remain prevalent.
Healthcare is no exception. In fact, quality is at the core of how healthcare gets done. The President has made this very clear as the conversation about health reform has escalated. In virtually every address he has done around healthcare over the past 2-3 months he has talked about quality. On May 11th, in one of his speeches he said:
"I'm also committed to ensuring that whatever plan we design upholds three basic principles: First, the rising cost of health care must be brought down; second, Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to choose a new doctor or health care plan if they want it; and third, all Americans must have quality, affordable health care."
This is a mandate that all of us can sign on to. Whether we are conservative or liberal, for or against universal healthcare, feel that healthcare is right or a privilege, quality, affordable, [accessible] care is something we can all agree is a priority.
So how does cultural competence fit in? Two answers:
1) Many hospital organizations have undergone culture change/quality initiatives driven by the likes of greats such as the StuderGroup or the work of Fred Lee (If Disney Ran Your Hospital). Some have had tremendous success, while others less so. Few have made culture change and competent culture evolution something they would consider embedded into how they do what they do each day or more so an ongoing discipline that is cultivated by leaders and cascaded down through the organization.
I hold that it is not because they don't want to. I fundamentally believe that it is because the culture change and quality efforts are not integrated with and inclusive of all of the facets of the organization. In particular many times the not included is the myriad diversity of employees, patients, families, and the greater community that make up WHO the hospital is as well as performs the functions of what it does.
So, I believe that there are cultures within culture change and that we have to develop and evolve our competence in these cultures within an organizational culture to assure continuous quality improvement.
2) We have created a model to discuss these dynamics and we want to share with you in a series of free web seminars. On July 1st and July 8th we will host two free web seminars to share the DHW Cultural Competence-Quality Framework for Healthcare Excellence.
The July 1, 2009 event will be for Diversity HealthWorks members only. If you register for this event and you are not a member of Diversity HealthWorks, you will not receive a confirmation link to the event. Membership however is free. So, if you are not yet a member and want to see a demo of the model and have the change to comment, Join Us.
The July 8, 2009 event is open to anyone interested. We look forward to seeing you on-line.
To register for the July 1, 2009 Free Web Seminar Click the Link Below:
DHW Cultural Competence-Quality Framework for Healthcare Excellence--July 1
To register for the July 8, 2009 Free Web Seminar Click the Link Below:
DHW Cultural Competence-Quality Framework for Healthcare Excellence--July 8
We hope to see you as we share this integrated framework with all who are interested.
Make it a great day!