|Health Factors:||Quality of Care|
|Decision Makers:||Educators State Government Healthcare Professionals & Advocates|
|Population Reach:||20-49% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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Cultural competence training for health care professionals focuses on skills and knowledge to value diversity, understand and respond to cultural differences, and increase awareness of providers' and care organization’s cultural norms. Trainings can provide facts about patient cultures or include more complex interventions such as intercultural communication skills training, exploration of potential barriers to care, and institution of policies that are sensitive to the needs of patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds (Cochrane-Horvat 2014).
There is strong evidence that cultural competence training for health care professionals improves providers’ knowledge, understanding, and skills for treating patients from culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse backgrounds (Truong 2014, Renzaho 2013, Like 2011, Gallagher 2015). Additional evidence is needed to determine effects on patient care and health outcomes (Cochrane-Horvat 2014, Truong 2014, Like 2011).
Cultural competence training can improve patient satisfaction (Truong 2014, Renzaho 2013, Like 2011, Clifford 2015). In some circumstances, patients whose providers completed training report better opinions of their clinicians or participate longer in mental health counseling than patients whose providers did not (Cochrane-Horvat 2014). In a Massachusetts-based study, cultural competence training increased provider awareness of racial disparities in diabetes care (Like 2011).
When preparing cultural competence trainings, experts recommend that designers consider an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and the particular needs of its patients (Truong 2014). Experts also suggest connecting cultural competency to professional values rather than legal or organizational requirements, fostering a safe and respectful learning environment, cultivating cultural humility, and avoiding stereotypes throughout the training (Like 2011).
Experts suggest that making plans and systems changes to accommodate patient culture, in conjunction with cultural competence training, may improve patient outcomes (Truong 2014).
Washington, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Mexico require cultural competence training for health professionals (US DHHS-Think cultural health). New Jersey also requires such training for medical school graduation and continuing medical education for physicians and podiatrists (Like 2011).
The federal Office of Minority Health offers cultural competence training resources and publishes the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards. American medical schools also have cultural competence accreditation requirements (Like 2011).
The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium offers cultural competence training resources pertaining to Amish, Hispanic, Hmong, and Native American cultures (LCMHSC-CCT).
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