Cultural Competency

Cultural competency resources

Culture is a major factor in how people respond to health services. If affects their approach to:

  • Coping with illness
  • Accessing care
  • Working toward recovery

Good communication between members and providers contributes directly to patient satisfaction and positive outcomes.

A culturally competent provider effectively communicates with patients and understands their individual concerns. It’s incumbent on providers to make sure patients understand their care regimen.

Each segment of our population requires special sensitivities and strategies to embrace cultural differences.

Training resources for our providers

Providers receive education about such important topics as:

  • The reluctance of certain cultures to discuss mental health issues and of the need to proactively encourage members from such backgrounds to seek needed treatment
  • The impact that a member’s religious and/or cultural beliefs can have on health outcomes (e.g. belief in non-traditional healing practices)
  • The problem of health illiteracy and the need to provide patients with understandable health information (e.g. simple diagrams, communicating in the vernacular, etc.)
  • History of the disability rights movement and the progression of civil rights for people with disabilities
  • Physical and programmatic barriers that impact people with disabilities accessing meaningful care

As part of our cultural competency program, we encourage our providers to access information on the Office of Minority Health's web-based A Physician's Guide to Culturally Competent Care. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians endorse this program, which provides up to 9.0 hours of category 1 AMA credits at no cost.