As part of its ongoing focus on diversity and inclusion, Mercyhealth identified that patient and visitor bias negatively impacts both employee well-being and patient care. In the past, patients sometimes requested that a health care worker be reassigned based on ethnicity or some other characteristic for which they had a bias. To celebrate, respect and support the diversity of Mercyhealth’s workforce, a policy was developed, in collaboration with Mercyhealth medical staff, to provide a structured process for protecting employees, other patients and visitors from bias, discrimination, harassment and disrespect.
The process outlined in the policy serves as a resource for all Mercyhealth employees for situations in which a patient is requesting reassignment of a health care worker. When such a request is received, Mercyhealth leadership reviews the request and offers support to the affected employee. Requests for a health care worker who is a specific gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or some other personal characteristic unrelated to patient care are not granted except in the following circumstances:
Life-threatening situations where a time delay has the potential to cause an adverse impact
When a patient’s cognitive impairment or psychiatric diagnosis warrants an exception
When certain cultural, linguistic or religious beliefs warrant an exception
When the request may be based on a history of sexual assault or other emotional or physical trauma
The mission of Mercyhealth is to provide exceptional health care services, with a passion for making lives better. This mission extends to the lives of all Mercyhealth employees, patients and visitors. This mission is at the heart of Mercyhealth’s continuous review of policies, protocols and training for its employees.