News: Nearly half of all healthcare workers say racism is a crisis in healthcare, survey finds

CDI Strategies - Volume 18, Issue 8

Patients and workers of color have been experiencing concerning levels of discrimination and racism in the healthcare setting, a recent survey suggests.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, approximately six in 10 healthcare workers have faced discrimination because of their ethnicity. Perhaps most concerningly, nearly half of all healthcare workers—irrespective of race or ethnicity—said that racism against patients is “a major problem or crisis.”

The American Hospital Association (AHA) released a statement concerning these findings. In it, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said that:

…we believe that all patients deserve to receive care — and that all caregivers deserve to work — in environments that are free of discrimination. These national survey results across multiple health care settings are a weighty reminder that to advance equity, health care providers must feel respected and empowered to take actions to eliminate inequities in all forms.

Here are other noteworthy figures from the report:

  • 48% of all healthcare workers, and 68% of Black healthcare workers, agreed that “[m]edical providers can be more accepting of white patients advocating for themselves than Black patients doing so.”
  • 57% of all healthcare workers, and 72% of Latino healthcare workers, agreed that “[p]atients who mostly speak Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Creole, or other languages aside from English may not always receive equal quality treatment from healthcare providers compared to English-speaking patients.”
  • 45% of all healthcare workers reported facing a lot of or some stress due to racial or ethnic discrimination in healthcare.

Editor’s note: To read the Commonwealth Fund survey, click here. To read the AHA press release, click here.

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