Driving Diversity Through Social Media Screening in the Healthcare Industry

Photo by National Cancer Institute on UnsplashThe corporate landscape continues to reckon with both the economic fallout of a pandemic as well as mounting pressure to double down on diversity and inclusion initiatives, and healthcare industry is no different. Over the years, numerous calls have been made to diversify the healthcare industry in order to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. However, a commonplace barrier may be enough to inhibit these gains in a patient population: toxic workplace attitudes.Here, social media screening is emerging as a practical tool in the hiring process to support a healthier workplace culture. By taking a more holistic approach to screening, healthcare providers may be able to mitigate some of the toxic behavior and unconscious bias that has historically discouraged more diverse staffing. This potentially accomplishes two objectives. First, a healthier workplace that actively engages in driving out discrimination may begin to attract a more diverse candidate pool. And secondly, a more diverse and intentionally inclusive staff naturally attracts a wider breadth of patients. Here’s how:

Holistic screening takes a more nuanced approach to the individual.

While screening rigorously for criminal behavior has been a standard procedure for hiring in the healthcare industry (and beyond), social behavior may have just as much to say about what makes an excellent candidate for patient care. Depending on the individual, criminal background searches can potentially miss behavioral red flags, and it’s that type of problematic behavior that may end up being viewable online later, to the detriment of all parties involved. For example, a nurse was recently fired from Blount Memorial in Tennessee for “offensive and inappropriate” posts on social media that “are not supported by the hospital’s code of conduct.” Another nurse was fired from Sinai Grace in Detroit for violating their social media policy by posting a video of hospital COVID protocol. These incidents can still be considered business-related behavior as it compromises the health and/or safety of both other hospital staff as well as patients. To that end, utilizing social media screening as a supplement to criminal searches helps healthcare providers catch violent, threatening, or intolerant behavior that may violate company policy and/or contribute to harmful treatment of private citizens.

Existing hospital values can help drive the screening process.

Healthcare providers, because of the highly sensitive and essential nature of the services they provide, are held to an ethical standard far more often than most industries. This makes a healthcare organization’s values crucial to sustaining successful standards of care. Diversity and inclusion initiatives rely heavily on a values-driven hiring approach, and values are best demonstrated through a track record of social behavior. Luckily, these can easily be massaged into already-existing organizational values. Enter social media screening, which can function as a practical solution to screen for behavior that goes against an organization’s values. For example, if an organization’s values include tolerance and inclusivity, Social Intelligence’s reports can be formulated to include a focus on intolerant or bigoted behavior. Similarly, for companies concerned about violent behavior, SI Reports can include a filter for violence or threatening activity. These clear, business-related filters can then function as a clear, actionable tool to assist in adjudicating whether or not the candidate is an appropriate fit.

Driving out discrimination can help attract more diversity in the talent pool.

Diversity means nothing without an inclusive culture. In order to attract and retain a diverse talent pool, companies must create the ideal working conditions for the target talent--namely, in this case, inclusivity.For diversity, it’s a non-starter that the biggest stressor and reasons to leave is discrimination and intolerance due to an exclusive or homogenous culture. One of the quickest ways to begin chipping away at this seemingly overwhelming obstacle is to screen incoming candidates at all levels for intolerant behavior via social media screening. As a healthcare organization proceeds through a natural turnover process, harmful behavior can be organically rooted out by screening all new hires for potentially problematic behavior across multiple categories.In turn, an organization that is actively taking steps to weed out discrimination within their staff is more likely to extend that same attitude to their patients, creating a healthier and safer environment not only for other healthcare workers, but for the communities that they serve as well.

What can Social Intelligence do for healthcare?

Social Intelligence is proud to have relationships with several healthcare organizations, each of which are invested in creating a better workplace and providing the best services possible. Everyday, Social Intelligence serves the healthcare industry’s specific needs by customizing reports to include online searches for ongoing concerns such as breaches in HIPAA compliance, intolerance, and potentially criminal activity. For healthcare clients, patient safety and privacy is of utmost importance. Social Intelligence is there to help organizations navigate how to optimize their workplaces to better gain and retain patient trust.

Looking for more resources on social media screening in healthcare?

  • Download our eBook on screening in healthcare for more tips.
  • Check out this case study examining the effects of social media screening in a healthcare institution.
  • Still have questions? Contact us We’d love to walk you through the basics.