Continuing Education for Cultural Competency From the Office of Minority Health
The changing demographics of our country create new challenges for the provision of care. You may see that change happening in your own community.
Peoples Health wants you to know about the resources available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, including a variety of cultural competency education modules for providers.
What Cultural Competency Means to Patient Care
Research has established that socio-cultural differences between patients and health care professionals influence many aspects of the medical encounter that can impact patient satisfaction, adherence and health outcomes.
- Patients respond better when care instructions are delivered in their own language and their cultural background is taken into account.
- Knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural differences can impact the way patients share their medical needs, as well as how physicians and nurses can enhance communication, diagnosis and treatment.
- When physicians and other health professionals are aware of cultural subtleties, this awareness can help improve patient care.
Cultural education for health care professionals is an important component of improving the quality of care delivered to diverse patient populations and it can help address racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
Cultural Competency Online Resources
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
This resource site offers two guides for defining cultural needs in managed care and developing appropriate services:
- Planning Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services: This offers health plans an approach to defining the needs of multi-ethnic patients and developing culturally and linguistically appropriate services for these patients.
- Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit (2nd Edition): This is a free set of tools to help primary care practices improve interactions between patients and staff. For the fastest engagement, begin with the Quick Start Guide.
- American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Card: The culture card enhances cultural competence when serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. It covers regional differences, cultural customs, spirituality, communication styles, the role of veterans and older adults, and health disparities.
- Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC): The NCCC contributes to the body of knowledge on cultural and linguistic competency within systems and organizations. The Cultural and Linguistic Competence Health Practitioner Assessment self-guided learning activity, developed by the NCCC, is designed to enhance the delivery of high-quality services for diverse patient populations and promote cultural and linguistic competency as an essential approach to addressing health and health care disparities.
- Language Identification Cards for Limited English Proficiency: This tool helps identify languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency. The Language Flash Card contains 38 common languages.
- Office of Minority Health – Cultural Competency Section: The Office of Minority Health addresses disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, healthier lifestyle choices, use of health care services, and barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities. Key strategies focus on fostering research, establishing networks, and funding programs that can contribute to health policy and the effectiveness of strategies for improving health.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Information is available on National CLAS Standards and education, including free continuing education e-learning programs, resources and recorded presentations, quarterly newsletters, case study video units and more.