Cultural Competence in Healthcare

Electrocardiogram printout, medication, upturned glasses, Stethoscope

According to the 2018 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from the AHRQ, from 2016-2017 blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders received worse than whites for 40% of quality measures. For Hispanics, the level of disparity was about 35%. A systematic review published in 2017 in BMC Medical Ethics found that in most articles, evidence of implicit bias from physicians – related to race, ethnicity, age, gender, or weight – was present and that the presence of bias correlated to a lower quality of care. Access to healthcare is limited by other factors as well, including language barriers and low literacy.

The goal of culturally competent health care services is to provide the highest quality of care to every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, English proficiency or literacy (Georgetown University). The Biomedical Libraries support the Geisel and Dartmouth-Hitchcock communities by providing resources for increasing knowledge, skills, and cultural awareness. We can help you find patient education materials in languages other than English, data on healthcare disparities, and current practices in culturally competent care.

Visit our research guide on Cultural Competence in Healthcare for a curated collection of websites, journals, and books addressing healthcare needs of LBTQ+ individuals, American Indians, and minority groups in rural, urban, and global settings. Please also reach out to us if you have any suggestions for resource additions for this guide!

This post was written by Amanda Scull, Head of Education and Information Services for the Biomedical Libraries.

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