Michigan on Tuesday finalized a requirement that all 440,000 licensed or registered health workers in the state undergo annual hidden bias training to help address disparities in how patients are treated.
The rule, which was initially ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last July, will take effect on June 1, 2022.
Health workers renewing their license or registration will have to complete at least one hour of training each year. New applicants will be required to receive at least two hours initially. Only those in veterinary medicine will be exempt.
“We all have some form of implicit bias. We’ve got to acknowledge that and use proven methods to lessen the impact of that bias that we all bring to the table,” the Democratic governor said at the Forest Community Health Center in Lansing. The coronavirus pandemic, she said, has exposed and exacerbated underlying inequities such as the disparate impact of health outcomes by race.
Whitmer last year ordered state employees to complete implicit bias training. Implicit bias is defined as the attitudes or stereotypes that affect people’s understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner, according to the Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.