Management research to provide operational advice on improving quality, reducing costs and eliminating disparities.
Cultural competency in health care describes the ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including the tailoring of health care delivery to meet patients' social, cultural and linguistic needs. A culturally competent health care system is one that acknowledges the importance of culture, incorporates the assessment of cross-cultural relations, recognizes the potential impact of cultural differences, expands cultural knowledge, and adapts services to meet culturally unique needs. Ultimately, cultural competency is recognized as an essential means of reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
This guide explores the concept of cultural competency and builds the case for the enhancement of cultural competency in health care. It offers seven recommendations for improving cultural competency in health care organizations:
Also included are self-assessment checklists for hospital leaders and a list of relevant cultural competency resources.
This information, coupled with several case studies from high-performing hospitals, will help guide hospital leaders as they seek to improve the quality, efficacy, and equity of care within their own institutions through advances in cultural competency.
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