Accidental DEI Discoveries in Healthcare
It is common knowledge that minorities generally do not seek medical advice, checkups, or care until it is too late, for many reasons – pride, denial, fear, insurance, and most importantly, cultural barriers and assumed racial biases. This fact is not limited to the United States, but is observed amongst minorities worldwide.
UCLA Health, the #1 Healthcare provider in the California and #3 in the United States, originally created an Asian-Pacific Islander (AAPI) website, first launched in Chinese languages, to target overseas patients seeking advanced care from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan before the pandemic. However, as the pandemic progressed, they stumbled upon their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative by accident: UCLA Health discovered that 55% of their website traffic came from the Chinese community within the United States itself.
How could they have missed an opportunity to reach the Asian community right under their noses? Moreover, the largest Chinese, Korean, and Japanese communities, living right in their hometown of Los Angeles? This prompted a rapid reaction of serving this newly discovered, underserved community: how could UCLA Health extend the healthcare conversation to them?
The solution – a DEI initiative immediately launched to service ethnic populations in Los Angeles. This idea was as brilliant as it was inclusive, given that Los Angeles is the number one community for most Asian-languages and Arabic-speaking populations.
Did you know that the Asian population is the most insured ethnic group in the United States but is the least likely to seek mental and simple primary care?
Research has shown repeatedly this is due to cultural and language barriers, as well as personal pride. Arabic speakers were another group who did not seek care as frequently, likely due to the same lingual barriers.
UCLA took these learnings of the local Arabic population and launched an international services site for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). On the website, communities learned about the dominant health care challenges, the latest technologies, and the highly educated and skilled doctors that provide their services at the institution.
This has prompted UCLA Health to start a multi-year program to build websites to address all the major ethnic populations in Los Angeles, building on their DEI promise of serving the underserved and providing accessible services and universal healthcare to all.
UCLA’s inclusion initiative resulted in 390,576 visits, 650,579 pageviews, 460,247 sessions, and an average bounce rate of 22.02% in 2021 on their AAPI site – that’s addressing 25% of the entire Chinese American population in the US.
UCLA Health experienced a 100%+ increase in patient booking confirmations, to the point where the care coordination team became backlogged by two-months for appointments and necessitated the permanent hire of more Arabic and Chinese language-speaking care coordinators.
UCLA Health has become a DEI leader in healthcare by recognizing what inclusion truly looks like in healthcare.