196176 Setting the Stage: A Business Case for Leadership Diversity in Health Care

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:50 PM

Ebbin Dotson, PhD, MHSA , Division of Management, Policy and Community Health, UTHealth School of Public Health, Houston, TX
OBJECTIVES: This research explores the influence of leadership diversity on the financial success of health care organizations, and the quality of health enjoyed by minority populations served by the organization.

BACKGROUND: Diversity has been theorized to positively influence organizational culture and practices, but a business case for diversity in health care at the executive administrative level had not been made. Leveraging diversity practices to successfully influence business operations will become a business imperative for many health care organizations as they look to leadership to help manage a new era of culturally competent, patient-centered care and a focus on reducing disparities.

METHODS: Based on an analysis of an integrated health system over a five-year period, leadership diversity was used to leverage favorable financial and quality outcomes. Race and ethnicity specific analyses were conducted to assess both the direct and indirect effects leadership diversity on financial and quality outcomes. The study examines the association between leadership diversity on the cost-specific aspects of financial success using reduced discharge volume as the outcome, and explored the impact of leadership diversity on the cardiovascular quality processes related to hospital care of acute myocardial infarction and heart failure.

CONCLUSION: Financial success was found to have associations with leadership diversity across racial and ethnic leadership categories, whereas quality outcomes were not significantly associated with leadership diversity. These results provide support for a quantifiable business case for leadership diversity, as well as a first step towards arming leaders with the information to make leadership diversity a business imperative.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify how leadership diversity issues can contribute to health disparities. 2. Describe implications of workforce diversity in terms of financial outcomes. 3. Discuss how health disparities solutions are being approached using managerial practices.

Keywords: Leadership, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator for the content to be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.