The strategies for an organizational self-assessment of diversity-inclusiveness of policy and practice in a hospital setting

Sylvia Reitmanova, Denise L. Spitzer


Drawing on the data collected through anonymous semi-structured surveys with four clinical nurse managers and 70 female hospital service users of various minority backgrounds, this study examined how the reproductive health needs of minority women were addressed by healthcare services in the Ottawa Hospital. Participating minority women included non-white Canadian-born women, Aboriginal women, immigrant women, single mothers-by-choice, women with disabilities as well as lesbian and bisexual women in reproductive age. The results indicated that there is great room for improving inclusivity and equity in all aspects of hospital operations: institutional policies and practices, service planning, staff recruitment and training, as well as physical environment and health education materials. A considerable number of surveyed women reported that their cultural, social, linguistic, physical and mental needs were not satisfactory addressed, or understood and respected by hospital staff. The majority of women also indicated that the hospital ambiance and health education materials did not reflect their minority status or their ideas and experiences of health and maternity. The study findings provide an important ground-work for an organizational self-assessment of diversity-inclusiveness of hospital policies and practices of individual healthcare professionals. The assessment of these policies and practices is the first step toward the improvement of quality of service for minority women and building a healthier and more equitable working environment for hospital employees.


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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