Cultural misunderstanding and miscommunication contribute to negative dynamics between providers and patients, threatening patient satisfaction, the effective delivery of services and the increase of health disparities. These outcomes are often the basis for legal action and can be in violation of federal mandates. The provision of health services is a complex issue. Differences in language, age, culture, socioeconomic status, political and religious beliefs, sexual orientation and life experiences add challenging dimensions to the process. Cultural competence involves recognition and respect for these differences among patients in terms of their values, expectation, and experiences with healthcare; at the same time recognizing the culture-based practices and dictates of medicine, and the values, expectations, and experiences of medical practitioners. Culturally competent care becomes possible with the skillful management of the interplay between these elements, which make up a medical encounter. For health care organizations facing managed care and federal and state cutbacks in funding of services, the pursuit of culturally competent patient and provider communication is a business imperative. Successful projects run by the Cross Cultural Health Care Program dedicated to enhancing patient provider communication will be discussed. The role of recognizing the community as the teacher in advancing effective communication will be outlined through the description of the community led trainings called Can You Hear Me? A training series organized in Seattle in partnership with six different ethnic communities that highlight the issue that effective communication is based on sharing power and knowledge.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the intricacies of communication in a medical encounter. 2. Describes the outcomes of insufficient communication between diverse patient and providers and the resultant legal ramifications. 3. Outline strategies that result in culturally competent and linguistically appropriate communications and build effective community partnerships to remove health disparities
Keywords: Cultural Competency, Ethnicity
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA