At Northwell, we know that when we’re Truly Ourselves, we can create great things. We’re committed to developing a supportive work environment that’s as diverse and inclusive as the communities we serve. Part of championing our team members and patients includes delivering the best care possible regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background and language proficiency.
The “We Ask Because We Care” campaign is a new effort by Northwell to ensure we’re understanding and meeting the unique ethnic and cultural needs of our patients. This initiative aims to educate both our team members and community members about the importance of collecting and using accurate race, ethnicity and preferred language data. This system-wide campaign is part of a national push to support the goals of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and comes as a result of our CEO, Michael J. Dowling, signing the Equity of Care Pledge from the American Hospital Association.
As part of this new initiative, Northwell employees will be educated on how to appropriately ask patients their preferred language, their race and their ethnicity. Our patients’ health is important to us – we ask because we care. Though it is not mandatory for patients to answer, these questions aim to help us deliver the best care possible. By better understanding our patients, we can deliver personalized care to best meet our patients’ needs. Accurate patient information helps make exceptional care possible.
“In improving the accurate collection of patient data collection of race, ethnicity and preferred language and educating our communities about the importance of providing us with this data, we will help to advance diversity and inclusion and reduce health disparities,” says Elizabeth McCulloch, PHD, AVP, Diversity & Health Equity, “We will also be able to use this data to help inform our community efforts, strengthen our community partnerships and stratify our data by key quality indicators.”
All answers provided by patients will be kept confidential and only be shared with providers and within Northwell Health. This information however marks an important first steps to improving community health and eliminating health disparities. As the future market for health care services changes, Northwell is evolving to ensure we continually redefine health care while advancing diversity and inclusion.
Our staff is as diverse as the community we serve. By promoting effective communication and cultural and linguistic competence, we’re able to improve patient and family-centered care, eliminate health disparities and enhance health outcomes for patients and their families.