Joint Commission Targets Cultural Competency with New

August 9, 2010

As part of an effort to improve cultural competence and communication in hospitals, the Joint Commission has released a monograph providing recommendations to address these issues.

As part of an effort to improve cultural competence and communication in hospitals, the Joint Commission has released a monograph providing recommendations to address these issues.

The publication, entitled, “Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals,” provides recommendations designed to help hospital workers “address unique patient needs and comply with new standards for patient-centered communication.”

Included are practice examples and guidelines focusing on various issues including race, ethnicity, language, culture, health literacy, other communication barriers, mobility needs, and the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. The Joint Commission encourages hospitals to adopt a combination of the practices discussed and to use these examples as a foundation for creating processes, policies, and programs that are best suited for their organizations.

“We want to inspire hospitals to integrate effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care into their organizations,” said Paul Schyve, M.D., senior vice president of The Joint Commission, in a press release. “By giving hospitals this Roadmap, we are providing them with the methods to begin or improve upon their efforts to ensure that all patients receive the same high quality care.”

Effective communication, cultural competence, and patient-and family-centered care are not stand-alone initiatives, according to the guideline, stressing that hospitals must “embed these practices in the core activities of its system of care delivery to truly meet the needs of the patients, families, and communities served.”