Emerging Standards of Care
August 18, 2014
Emerging Standards of Care
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2013) “Cultural competency is one of the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care. It’s the way patients and doctors can come together and talk about health concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation, but enhancing it. Quite simply, health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients can help bring about positive health outcomes.”
Populations Served and Their Vulnerability
Healthcare organizations across ...view middle of the document...
This effort was developed to promote the access of care, quality of care and patient outcomes. The fourteen modes are structured in themes: “Culturally Competent Care (standards 1-3), Language Access Services (Standards 4-7) and Organizational Supports for Cultural Competence.” The Language Access Services standards are federally mandated for all healthcare organizations that receive federal funds. The most significant obstacle for most professionals with little background in transcultural nursing is the implementation of the standards for cultural competence. There is an inclination to conform all standards for the ease of implementation; as a result, this inclination minimizes the fundamental principles inherent in culturally congruent and competent care (Pacquiao, 2004).
According to Pacquiao (2004), in 2004 the Joint Commission began to pay close attention to these standards and how healthcare organizations were implementing them. In 2007, a document named “Office of Minority Health National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services” (CLAS) standards cross walked to “Joint Commission 2007 Standards” developed to create linkages between the CLAS standards and the Joint Commission Standards. At that time, many healthcare organizations started to focus on the standards and adopt them into their day to day practices. Pacquiao (2004) indicates that standard one and three refer to healthcare organizations ensuring “patients and consumers receive from all staff members’ understandable and respectful care. This care should be compatible with their cultural beliefs and practices and preferred language.” Standard two calls for “healthcare organizations to implement strategies to recruit, retain and promote at all levels a diverse staff and leadership that represent the demographic area that the organizations reside in” (Pacquiao, 2004). Standard four and five must offer “language assistance services, including bilingual staff and interpreter services at no cost to the patient/consumer with limited English proficiency at all points of contact, in a timely manner during all hours of operation.” This service must be offered verbally and followed up in writing by the healthcare institutions (Pacquiao, 2004). Standard six emphasizes the Joint Commission Standard that friends and families cannot be used as interpreters, and all interpreters have to be trained in interpretation. If families are informed of the risk of having friends and families interpret and sign understanding of that risk, then the organization is relieved of their obligation. Standard seven requires that “organizations make available easily understood patient-related materials and post signage in the language of the commonly encountered groups (Pacquiao, 2004). Standard eight and nine suggest that “organizations should conduct ongoing organizational self-assessments of CLAS related activities and are encouraged to implement changes to their current practices based on the...