A Conversation About Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Healthcare with Technology

August 2nd

Feedtrail - Healthcare Experience Management

Toni Land MBA, BSN

Vice President of Advisory Services, Feedtrail and CEO of Landing Exceptional Experiences

Paul Jaglowski

Paul Jaglowski

Chief Strategy Officer, Feedtrail

  • Feedtrail’s features help healthcare organizations improve patient access and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by serving as a tool to build trusting relationships with underserved communities.
  • DEI is a top priority in healthcare but organizations still struggle to bring different voices to the table. Technology helps hospitals and clinics understand specific demographics and provide proactive outreach and personalized experiences.
  • Feedtrail’s Chief Strategy Officer, Paul Jaglowski, and Toni Land MBA, BSN, VP of Advisory Services at Feedtrail and CEO of Landing Exceptional Experiences, discuss the goals of DEI in healthcare and how their platform enables healthcare professionals to achieve better outcomes.


When we think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within organizations, the first things that come to mind are often strategies to improve hiring practices, workplace environments, and leadership opportunities.

But DEI also comes into play in terms of the customers or users an organization serves. In healthcare, the extent to which patients receive inclusive, equitable care can be a matter of life or death.

Feedtrail’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Jaglowski and Vice President of Advisory Services and CEO of Landing Exceptional Experiences Toni Land sat down to discuss DEI in healthcare, the importance of engaging underserved communities, and how technology like the Feedtrail XM platform can support these efforts.

Toni believes it’s about “truly building relationships and trust with these communities” and then using technology to intentionally communicate with them. Feedtrail enables healthcare organizations to be “innovative and creative in creating experiences for our patients and families,” she says.


DEI is a top priority, but still a challenge

 When Paul talks to clients or prospects, social determinants of health — nonmedical factors that influence outcomes — is the topic on everyone’s mind, across all types of healthcare organizations. As awareness of these issues grows, so do efforts to address them through DEI initiatives.

“In the majority of my recent meetings with clients and prospects patient access has been top-of-mind — improving patient access, access to services, education around what’s being offered, if patients miss appointments getting them back in for that appointment, giving them opportunities to receive care in ways that historically were a bit inconvenient.” said Paul.

Despite the growing awareness of the issue, Toni still sees healthcare organizations struggling to bring the voices of the underserved to the table. “If we are designing and delivering experiences for those that we serve, but we don’t [represent or take into account] the voices of the underserved, then we’re designing and delivering for the majority, not necessarily the minority,” she says.

Improving DEI starts with understanding the different demographics you are serving. You can then use that insight to personalize outreach through proactive, intentional engagement. These are common goals among many of the organizations Paul speaks to, and Feedtrail’s advanced analytics allow you to drill down into your experience data with patient identifiers to truly understand who you’re reaching, who is or isn’t engaging, and how you can improve efforts to better serve all of your diverse patient populations. Personalizing real-time patient surveys and messages delivered at key moments allows you to better understand your patient’s needs or barriers to care so you can make improvements that impact care compliance, access, and effective communication.

Feedtrail - Healthcare Experience Management

DEI builds trust to engage communities

To truly reach underserved communities, Toni believes healthcare organizations need to intentionally build a relationship of trust with them. Too often she sees community-serving events — like mammogram screenings or flu shots — use a “one-and-done” approach. She views programs with this strategy as missed opportunities to actually engage with the community members receiving care.

Patient experience shouldn’t be just for the sake of checking a box, she says. Healthcare organizations should instead focus on communicating intentionally with various cohorts of patients across their community and providing them with education and information so they want to engage and be their best selves.

This goes beyond appointment reminders, which Toni says are an important baseline but don’t contribute to long term solution, which instead rely on building relationships. For real change, organizations must partake in proactive outreach with patients to make sure they’ve filled their prescriptions, met with their doctors, and received their exams. And if they haven’t, organizations should dig deeper to find out the root causes at play. Common reasons include transportation and financial limitations.

An organization that is aware of such issues and helps its patients resolve them is one that will start to build trust in its community. This is what Toni calls “communicating in the white space,” adding, “technology can enable us to do that.”

Recommended reading: Exceed Expectations by Understanding the White Spaces in Patient Journeys

Using Feedtrail to improve DEI leads to better health outcomes, reduced emergency visits, and decreased readmissions, she says. “Those things are not only going to impact patient experience, but your bottom line as well.”


Feedtrail technology enables human relationships

It may seem counterintuitive that engaging underserved communities is all about building trust and human relationships, but the key to unlocking those relationships is technology. But Toni says that healthcare is still about “humans taking care of humans” and that’s not going to change.

Rather than replacing humans, Feedtrail’s technology enables human-driven work and arms them with valuable information that they can use to engage with patients and families.

According to Paul, Feedtrail allows healthcare organizations to “welcome [patients] and acknowledge their unique experience — that they might have different expectations — and let them know there’s a way they can always share what they’re experiencing or feeling through the same platform.” That acknowledgment, that recognition, that encouragement, and that support are the building blocks to engagement and a successful DEI strategy.


Serving the greater good with technology

Improving DEI across healthcare is more than an aspirational goal — it’s a societal mandate and the right thing to do. But it’s also an opportunity for healthcare organizations to contribute toward the greater good of their communities, not to mention their own operational efficiency and profitability.

Seen in that light, DEI is a win-win, and, as Paul says, Feedtrail is just the platform healthcare organizations need to “drill into those details, and understand exactly what [they] can do differently to make an impact.”

Download a DEI Survey Template

Download best practice survey templates for DEI-related questions to ask your workforce and patients.