Allscripts initiative aims at amplifying diverse health IT voices

By | May 27, 2021

Allscripts announced earlier this month that it was launching ADP Empower, which it says is aimed at amplifying underrepresented voices in the healthcare technology industry.  

The initiative will center on collaboration and addressing issues specific to the participating organizations, said Tina Joros, general manager and vice president at Allscripts.   

The application period for the cohort closes May 28, after which the company will convene working sessions.  

Those sessions “will focus on what is already working for you, no matter where you are,” explained Joros. “What are the challenges you’re facing? Where does the process create a barrier to success for you?”  

When it comes to indicators of success, Joros said they can vary based on the organizational needs.   

Some more-established companies might be looking for clients, while other newer ones may benefit from client introductions.  

Although organizations are still applying, Joros outlined three main categories of applicants so far:

  • businesses owned or led by people of color trying to solve workflow challenges. 
  • patient-facing apps designed to engage communities of color in their overall health
  • groups that want to focus on advancing technology in a different way.   

Allscripts does not have concrete plans to put financial resources toward any of its cohort companies, but Joros said it could be a potential option depending on needs.  

More broadly speaking, Allscripts SVP of classic client solutions Elliott Bryant said the company works toward retaining a culture that fosters a variety of strengths.  

As peer companies and competitors wrestle with similar issues – diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives –Bryant said involve “all of the traditional things we think about in terms of race, gender, geography and more, but it’s much more than that.”

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“For us, it’s about how we bring together a broad perspective of ideas and experiences,” Bryant said. “How do we go and leverage all of this expertise, all of this insight, so all of our associates are at the table?”  

Bryant noted that one-fifth of the CEO’s direct report team are people of color, and half are women. He did not share statistics about demographics in Allscripts’ general employee population, saying that information was not typically public-facing.  

He did note, however, that Allscripts is “aggressively recruiting” at historically Black colleges and universities, as well as women’s colleges.   

“We want to make sure we’re creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity” to play a role, said Bryant.  

As far as indicators of success, Bryant said associates feeling valued and the company benefiting the communities it serves, as well as driving better outcomes for stakeholders, all rank highly.  

“You can’t master what you don’t measure,” Bryant said, and notes that the company holds employment engagement surveys. He notes, too, that there is a business use case for centering DEI as a focus. McKinsey has found, for instance, that organizations in the top quartile for cultural and ethnic diversity in the executive team outperform those in the bottom quartile by 36%.   

Having a wide range of viewpoints, he said, “Increases our sensitivity and awareness of important things,” including accessibility needs for technology development.  

Associates must take an unconscious bias training, and everyone at a director level or above takes classes on cultural competency, said Bryant.  

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But “DEI is more than a set of initiatives,” he said. “We believe it’s an imperative for us as a business.”  

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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