Understand how we got here — and how to move forward.


Case Study

How Children's Health Drove DEI Efforts with a Cultural Climate Audit

15 Minute Read


    The challenge

    Data remains a significant barrier for many organizations trying to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Many institutions struggle either to collect relevant data, analyze data to understand gaps and opportunities, or translate analysis into meaningful next steps. Without all three of these components, organizations can't effectively diagnose issues, set goals, measure efforts, and hold leaders accountable. When creating DEI strategies without these foundational data processes, organizations risk creating ineffective plans that are not based on data-informed priorities.

    The organization

    Children’s Health is a pediatric health care system based in North Texas. The system includes its flagship hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, as well as Children’s Medical Center Plano, Our Children’s House inpatient rehabilitation hospital, the Children’s Health Care Network, specialty centers, rehabilitation facilities and physician services.

    The approach

    Before creating a new DEI strategy, Children's Health conducted a cultural climate audit to create an organizational baseline to inform DEI planning and implementation. Through the cultural climate audit, Children's Health collected and analyzed qualitative and quantitative data to understand employee experiences and pinpoint strengths to build on and disparities to address. The organization’s approach demonstrates where to find relevant data, as well as the importance of conducting a comprehensive assessment to create a data-informed strategy.

    The results

    Children’s Health’s audit provided them with the necessary baseline data to create a DEI strategy with six defined priorities. Based on the results of the audit, the organization is also developing a Metrics Advisory Group, a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Dashboard and a D&I Impact Assessment.

    Need assistance?
    AskAdvisory red

    Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal.



    The five components

    Children’s Health’s cultural climate audit involved five key components. Organizations should look to this approach to not only understand how to find relevant DEI data, but also analyze and use this data for assessing baseline and developing a data-informed strategy.

    • Component

      Run focus groups to understand staff and leader perspectives

      Read More Collapse
    • Component

      Leverage employee engagement survey results to determine priorities

      Read More Collapse
    • Component

      Disaggregate demographic data to understand disparities in employee representation

      Read More Collapse
    • Component

      Embrace transparency and accountability in communication

      Read More Collapse
    • Component

      Translate analysis into meaningful next steps

      Read More Collapse


    How we know it’s working

    Prior to the audit, Children’s Health did not have the necessary baseline data to determine their priorities and road map their strategy moving forward. From the audit, the organization identified 21 themes around awareness and engagement and 6 key D&I priorities. This is valuable because it is most beneficial for organizations to gather baseline data prior to diving into a strategy to ensure that resources are best used, and that the strategy is most effective.


    Themes around awareness and engagement discovered


    Key D&I priorities established

    Have a Question?


    Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.