The Toxicity of Patient Bias: Fostering Inclusion When Patients Don’t Share Our Values

3-hour Seminars

Day 1

Session Code: SEM-K
When: April 16, 2019
Location/Room: 208 B
Level: Intermediate
Track: Healthcare
Presenters: Shamayne Braman, HealthPartners  |  Erin Van Heirseelee, Fairview Home Care  |  Dr. Andrew Lee, WellStar Health System  |  Tobi Tanzer, HealthPartners  |  Stacie Walton


One surprising—and uncomfortable—issue that healthcare employees experience is interacting with patients and members who refuse care, based on an employee’s perceived race, language, ethnicity, LGBTQ status, gender, age, country of origin or religion. This may include patients harshly questioning the credentials of caregivers who appear to be foreign-born, interrogating a lab technician who wears a Hijab about her views on terrorism, or state outright sexist remarks.

Every customer carries their own personal experiences, and there may be, in some cases, understandable reasons why a person is not comfortable with a particular employee. Yet, inclusive organizations want to create an environment where all people—customers and colleagues—feel welcomed, valued and included. In instances of bias, should we follow the rules or do the right thing? And what about the risks—safety of our employees, quality of care to our patients, and ensuring an environment free of discrimination?

In this session, participants will hear from health systems across the country sharing insights about their journey to design a strategy and empower colleagues to effectively bridge the gap between patient-biased views and organizational values of inclusion.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyze the safety, ethical and cultural dilemmas at the intersection of patient bias
  2. Identify successful strategies for navigating patient bias in care settings
  3. Leverage best practices for fostering an inclusive culture in the context of patient bias


The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
Privacy Policy