Diversity survey report establishes baseline DEI data

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In fall 2020 the VCH Medical Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee surveyed members to establish baseline DEI data. Over 15 per cent of VCH’s medical staff (475 respondents) took part; their contributions have provided rich qualitative data. The survey’s purpose was to ensure information is available to better support VCH physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives, and dentists to guide DEI efforts. Themes drawn from the survey have informed both the committee’s and VCH’s work. The final report is now available, as is an infographic of the report’s highlights.

“The report is significant because it is one of the first times a large health organization in Canada has sought to understand the diversity of its staff,” said Dr. Andrea Brovender, co-chair of the DEI Committee’s Meaningful Metrics Working Group, which prepared the report. “This understanding is important to plan and understand the effects of DEI activities and organizational standards and processes. The survey was an important early step, but we need to keep momentum and collect DEI data longitudinally to create a strong and inclusive organization.”

The report includes seven recommendations:

  • That VCH continues to make meaningful efforts to address DEI within the medical staff and continues to support this work with resources and funding.
  • That VCH recognizes the importance of robust and accurate data to guide DEI efforts and that VCH strengthens its DEI data collection and analysis capacity.
  • That VCH use data to monitor, benchmark and assess efforts to improve DEI within the medical staff and organization at large.
  • That VCH place particular emphasis on using DEI data to monitor the search and selection process for medical leaders, including candidates for leadership positions as well as search and selection committees.
  • That VCH build DEI data collection tools that can be applied uniformly to medical staff. The report recommends collection of DEI data at the time of privileging as this will capture all medical staff on a two-year cycle.
  • That VCH develop agreed upon metrics and key performance indicators based upon the collected DEI data and that DEI-related KPI are made a component of leadership appointment, re-appointment, and performance assessment (e.g., department and division heads).
  • That DEI training be made readily available and accessible for all new and existing VCH staff, medical staff, and leaders with regularly offered refresher courses and a DEI lens be applied to all VCH leadership courses and other training required for reappointment and professional development.

“The 2020 survey had sampling challenges and a response rate that is too low to provide an accurate description of the medical staff; however, it does provide a glimpse into the diversity that our institution, patients, and community could benefit from,” said former Meaningful Metrics Working Group co-chair Dr. Lynn Straatman. “Without mandatory reporting of diversity metrics, we will never have an accurate representation of who the physician body is. It is interesting that if you receive any salary from UBC you need to answer a few diversity metrics. They have an 80 per cent response rate.”

Earlier this year, the VCH-wide, staff and medical staff, Self Identification and Workplace Experience Survey was completed. Almost 800 medical staff took part. This survey looked at diversity like the 2020 Medical Staff survey, but also included inclusion, engagement, and other valuable metrics. There will be more data to share from the 2022 survey and some comparisons can be made to the 2020 survey, although the surveys were quite different. The results of the 2022 survey will be shared in the next few months.

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