About Hospital Cultural Competence

Cultural competence in health care describes the ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs.

The role of hospitals today is not limited to just clinical care. Hospitals must also deliver healthcare that reaches the heart of individual patient needs, and this often depends on that patient’s unique cultural or communication needs.

Lack of diversity in health care’s leadership and workforce can lead to systems of care poorly designed to meet the needs of diverse patient populations. Poor communication between providers and patients of different racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds can significantly reduce the quality of care. Most importantly, there is a clear connection between cultural competence, quality improvement, and the elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in health care.

This project will highlight where there is a need for stronger cultural competence in hospitals that are located in linguistically isolated areas. These areas are highlighted by displaying areas where there is a large percentage of a racial or ethnic population. The cultural competence data was gathered by surveying each individual hospital. (Hospital data will be continuously updated with the information each hospital provides to us.) Based on availability of each variable (on site translator, employee training, etc), each hospital was assigned a competency grade of high, medium, or low competence.

This project was created for the GIS in Planning and Health class at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersiy under the supervision of Dr. Wansoo Im.

Image source:http://www.tnj.com/archives/2006/february/health-care

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