At the fifth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations, held in Seattle from October 17–20, 2006, The Commonwealth Fund released a series of reports exploring the role of cultural competency in improving quality and outcomes for patients, reducing disparities, and helping patients become more active and engaged in their care.
Medical professionals who are culturally competent consider a patient's race and ethnicity, cultural background, primary language, health practices, and value systems when recommending treatment and providing care.
The reports include:
The Role and Relationship of Cultural Competence and Patient-Centeredness in Health Care Quality. Mary Catherine Beach, M.D., M.P.H., Somnath Saha, M.D., M.P.H., and Lisa A. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.
Improving Quality and Achieving Equity: The Role of Cultural Competence in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H.
The Evidence Base for Cultural and Linguistic Competency in Health Care. Tawara D. Goode, M.A., M. Clare Dunne, M.S.W., and Suzanne M. Bronheim, Ph.D.
Cultural Competency and Quality of Care: Obtaining the Patient's Perspective. Quyen Ngo-Metzger, M.D., M.P.H., Joseph Telfair, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., M.S.W., Dara H. Sorkin, Ph.D., Beverly Weidmer, M.A., Robert Weech-Maldonado, M.B.A., Ph.D., Margarita Hurtado, Ph.D., M.H.S., and Ron D. Hays, Ph.D.
Taking Cultural Competency from Theory to Action. Ellen Wu, M.P.H., and Martin Martinez, M.P.P.
The Fund also invited two experts in the field for their perspective on the papers and the important issues they raise. Read commentaries by Robyn Y. Nishimi, Ph.D., chief operating officer of the National Quality Forum, and Paul M. Schyve, M.D., senior vice president of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
You can also watch a Fund E-Forum, with slides and audio from related presentations delivered at a roundtable event, "Cultural Competency: Understanding the Present and Setting Future Directions," held in New York City on April 7, 2006.