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Culuturally Competent Care…proposed requirements from the Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is proposing strengthened accreditation requirements for hospitals to advance effective communication, cultural competence, and patient-centered care. Comments are currently being received. Implementation of the proposed requirements would occur in January 2011.

The final release of the requirements is part of an 18-month project (August 2008 through January 2010) designed to increase national attention to cultural competence, highlight the intersection of cultural competence with patient-centered care, and improve the safety and quality of care for all patients.

The proposed requirements build upon previous studies and projects, including research from The Joint Commission’s ongoing Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation study and evidence from the current literature.
The proposed changes specify that

  • Hospital staff participate in ongoing training on the use of communication tools like language access services, auxiliary aids, and plain language material (Human Resources Chapter);
  • Hospital leadership incorporate the use of population-level data and patient level data that help determine the needs of the populations served (Leadership Chapter);
  • Licensed providers at hospitals are educated on cultural diversity and communication tools and responsible for the administration of patient-centered communication and culturally competent care (Medical Staff Chapter); and
  • Care and treatment is conducted by identifying a preferred method of communication; ensuring that the preferred method is communicated across the care continuum; providing language access services; and assessing a patient’s understanding of the information provided.(Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services Chapter)

Feedback is being gathered on The Joint Commission’s WikiHealthCare:

You can view the proposed changes to the existing requirements.

Find more information on the Developing Proposed Requirements page.

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