189968 Role of Health Care Administrators in Providing Safe, Quality Health Care to Diverse Populations

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:10 PM

Amy Wilson-Stronks, MPP, CPHQ , Division of Standards and Survey Methods, The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Leadership is integral to the pursuit of cultural responsiveness that enhances and ensures remarkable care and exceptional patient experience. As communities around the country rapidly become more diverse, health care administrators continue to face challenges as they make use of limited resources to meet the shifting needs of the diverse populations they serve. How are administrators anticipating patients' cultural and language needs as their communities become more diverse? What systems do they have in place? What resources are they utilizing? Are they engaging communities to gain a better understanding of the needs of the populations they serve? “What are they doing to improve community health and well-being” What are some of the underlying factors driving these initiatives?

This session summarizes key findings from The Joint Commission's Hospitals, Language, and Culture study, designed to better understand the challenges hospitals face as they attempt to address the needs of their diverse patient populations. Qualitative interviews were conducted with CEOs, leadership, human resources, cultural and language services, and “front line” clinical and non-clinical staff. This session considers the role of health care administrators in championing and supporting effective communication and draws from interviews with high-level administrators. To help administrators examine their own practices for meeting the needs of the diverse populations they serve, a self-assessment tool will be presented that can be used to initiate discussions about the needs, resources, and goals for providing the highest quality care to every patient served.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the impact that language, health literacy, and culture can have on patient safety and care. Describe ways to take action in improving language services and culturally competent care as a means of improving patient communication. Identify challenges and factors that drive health care administrators to embrace and champion efforts to improve effective communication through the provision of language services and culturally competent care. Apply available tools and resources to assess and improve your organization’s ability to meet the needs of diverse populations.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Amy Wilson-Stronks, M.P.P., C.P.H.Q., is a Project Director in the Division of Standards and Survey Methods and the Principal Investigator for the Joint Commission study Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation a project funded by The California Endowment. She is the co-author of Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation Report of Findings released in March 2007. Ms. Wilson-Stronks has been a leader of the Joint Commission’s work in the area of culturally and linguistically appropriate patient-centered care and health care disparities. She is leading ongoing research investigations of the data collected during the Hospitals, Language, and Culture project. She is also directing the work of The Joint Commission to assess and evaluate accreditation standards related to culturally and linguistically appropriate services and is developing a comprehensive surveyor training program on issues related to culturally and linguistically appropriate services. She represents The Joint Commission on a number of National Advisory Committees on subjects related to the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Ms. Wilson-Stronks entered the health care field as an occupational therapy volunteer at a small downtown Chicago hospital, later working in the long term care industry as a Director of Activities and Psychosocial Programs, and subsequently as a quality improvement and compliance professional for a Joint Commission accredited national substance abuse treatment program. Ms. Wilson-Stronks has worked with the elderly, the mentally ill, persons with HIV/AIDS, and persons with addictions from a variety of ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. These experiences have allowed her to observe directly the impact of culture, language, and literacy on the quality and safety of care and services in health care. Ms. Wilson-Stronks earned her Master of Public Policy in Health Policy and a Graduate Certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago. Her studies explored poverty, health inequalities, and health status. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and is responsible for the development and maintenance of Joint Commission standards and survey processes. In her free time she serves as a Board Member of the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter working to improve services for persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and their families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.