Diversity Expert: “We all have unconscious bias, because we are all human.”
Speaking at the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) Rural Wisconsin Health Conference, former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Bon Secours Mercy Health System Gloria Goins delivered a thought-provoking, evidence-based discussion of the impact that unconscious, or implicit bias has on the safety, quality of care and mortality of patients. In a presentation entitled When Good Isn’t Good Enough: How Unconscious Bias Harms Patients…Despite Our Good Intentions,
Goins noted, “We make decisions and judgments quicker than we can blink an eye. We all have unconscious bias, because we are all human.”
Goins explained that people can mitigate unconscious bias by being self-reflective and by building their cultural competency knowledge base. “Avoid stereotyping,” she advised. “Use evidence-based data. Separate fact from fiction.”
Connecting lessons from her presentation to attendees’ personal and work lives, Goins asked participants to take what they’ve learned and personally commit to specific actions to combat the harmful effects of unconscious bias and to make recommendations to their employers to mitigate bias in the workplace. She ended her talk with a quote from John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”
See a wrap-up of the 2021 Wisconsin Rural Health Conference in photos here.
This story originally appeared in the June 10, 2021 edition of WHA Newsletter