What Leading with Inclusivity Means in Healthcare

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Today’s episode of the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast is a chat with Steve Meth, JD, MS, Chief Patient Experience Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine, about what it means to lead with inclusivity in today’s modern healthcare landscape.

Drawing from his extensive experience and unique professional background, Steve highlights the significance of effective communication, coordination, and trust in patient care, while reflecting on three key questions:

  • Why is inclusive leadership essential?
  • What are the character traits of an effective inclusive leader?
  • What obstacles do inclusive leaders face and how can they be addressed?

He reflected on his journey, transitioning from a legal background to his current focus on patient experience.

As a patient experience professional, he learned early on that the frequent breakdowns in communication and trust often lead patients and families to pursue legal action, prompting his shift towards improving systems and fostering inclusivity.

Throughout the conversation, Steve underscores the importance of inclusive leadership, stressing the need for authenticity and openness.

He shares personal stories, such as casually mentioning his husband in interviews to signal inclusivity and advocating for diverse candidate pools and inclusive job descriptions to foster a welcoming environment for everyone.

Moreover, Steve discussed the value of diverse perspectives in addressing complex challenges within healthcare organizations.

He highlighted the role of inclusive leadership in recognizing and addressing the unique needs of patients from different backgrounds, emphasizing the importance of co-creation and dialogue over passive education methods.

In this conversation, Steve also addressed obstacles to inclusivity, including disparities in promotions and variations in patient experiences based on demographics.

He emphasized the power of data-driven approaches in identifying and addressing these challenges, advocating for a proactive stance in promoting inclusivity and equity within healthcare systems.

About Today’s Podcast

This discussion was originally part of our October 2023 session of DEI Foundations Certificate Program.

Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) Certificate Programs aim to empower people by creating engaging healthcare experiences that promote, foster and strengthen relationships between providers and patients.

These programs deliver practical knowledge and lessons from leaders across a wide spectrum of healthcare disciplines—using real-world examples and case studies.

Did you miss our recent DEI Foundations event? Make sure to check out this chat with Steve as a strong example of what these events are all about and why they are so valuable.

If you are interested in seeing the entire slate of 2024 certificate programs, you can visit our homepage of events or explore our 2024 Certificate Programs Schedule Here [pdf].

Inclusive Leadership in Healthcare

Inclusive leadership is essential in today’s healthcare environments as it recognizes and values the diversity of individuals and groups. It involves creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included, regardless of their backgrounds, experiences, or identities.

Inclusive leaders are known across physicians and advanced practice providers for fostering and promoting a sense of belonging.

In healthy environments, inclusive leaders have established trust with their teams and patients, making it safe for individuals to be themselves and to share openly. They prioritize transparency, invest in their people and teams, and are willing to step out of their comfort zones.

Inclusive leadership is indispensable, valuing diversity and fostering a sense of belonging among individuals and groups. Simply put, inclusive leaders make it safe for teams and patients to express themselves.

Prioritizing transparency, they invest in their people, encouraging collaboration and innovation.

Inclusive leaders are willing to step out of their comfort zones, advocating for equity and inclusivity at every turn. Their commitment to creating inclusive spaces not only improves patient care but also fosters a culture of respect and collaboration, enriching the healthcare experience for all involved.

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

Meet Steve Meth, JD, MS

Steve Meth, JD, MS, is the Chief Patient Experience Officer with Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Connect with Steve Meth, JD, MS