Anyone who works in healthcare knows that healthcare translation is not ancillary to care, but is, rather, a central and necessary feature of access for an increasingly sizable portion of the population. In a recent article in Hospitals & Health Networks, Laurie Larson explores how the Joint Commission is concentrating a greater focus on this issue to enhance language and cultural competence.
As part of this effort, the Joint Commission has undertaken a project, sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, to develop standards for culturally competent care, while promoting the culturally sensitive practices set forth by the National Quality Forum. According to Larson, the project has two principal goals:
• Advance patient-centered care, concentrating on respecting the needs of each individual.
• Provide culturally competent care, including respecting race, language, religion, and other cultural differences.
Once the standards are established, the commission will provide hospitals with an implementation guide. Hospital executives and boards will then be expected to help foster communication and provide the necessary resources for nurses and doctors to help the patient-centered care flourish.
It is a process that must start at the beginning, at registration, with the preferred language of the patient captured in their record. Hospital leaders might then spend time during rounds to observe and ask how effectively and systematically their system’s cultural competency efforts are working.
About the author: Reymond the Marketing Manager and is the administrator for VIA's Speaking Healthcare blog and claims no authorship over this post. Read more from this author