In the health care system, health disparities can be understood in a socially disadvantaged community, the existence of avoidable variations in the burden of sickness or injury or the likelihood of experiencing violence and the possibilities to reach optimum health. Therefore, in addressing health disparities, establishing evidence-based initiatives that promote health equality may guarantee that everyone has the chance to live longer and healthier lives, regardless of their socioeconomic background (Daniels, 2013). Public health experts and community workers may develop and execute initiatives for minimizing health inequalities in their respective communities.
For organizations and individuals to connect successfully with people different from them, they must first develop a cultural proficiency mindset. Hence, cultural proficiency can be defined as a developmental method to deal with the challenges that arise in various situations. To handle difficulties of diversity, cultural proficiency may be used as a paradigm and platform for growing oneself or one’s company simultaneously. Due to the approach’s proactive nature, its ability to provide equipment that can be employed in any setting rather than methodologies that are only relevant in one surrounding, the emphasis on behavior patterns rather than emotional factors, and the fact that it can be implemented to both organizational culture and personal behavior, the approach is likable. Another term used interchangeably with “cultural proficiency” is cultural competence.
Reason Why Cultural Proficiency On Its Own Cannot Address the Issues of Health Disparities
Many important public health findings and research papers on patient experiences with the healthcare system have revealed that certain ethnic people are much more likely to be underprivileged. Such ethnics have recognized negative treatment from healthcare providers than others and to have distinct treatment outcomes in recent decades (Shepherd et al., 2019). Many healthcare organizations have adopted cross-cultural educational models, but there has been no evidence that the models have the potential to minimize inequities in healthcare access across cultures. Among the other aspects that influence health inequalities are poor socioeconomic position and level of education, both of which cannot be addressed via cultural proficiency. Health inequalities are caused by a variety of factors, including poor socioeconomic class and education level and a lack of access to health insurance and English language proficiency. Even though health inequalities are a severe and complicated public policy issue, addressing them involves a mix of diverse methods, including changes in economic and social circumstances, educational attainment, physical environment, and healthcare treatments. Although cultural competency may go a long way toward eliminating gaps, particularly in healthcare services, it cannot address all of the underlying issues on its own.
Another initiative that can address health disparities is the employment of a community approach strategy (Glasgow and Estabrooks, 2018). American citizens of all ethnic and racial origins live longer lives due to the successful medicines that have been discovered and evaluated utilizing fundamental scientific, medical, and health care services research methods. However, despite these diagnosis and therapy breakthroughs and unprecedented healthcare costs, the abolition of health inequities or the eradication of healthcare costs for the vast, broad range of health circumstances has not occurred, even among populations with equal healthcare access.
Benefits of Implementing Programs to Address Cultural Competency Proficiency Within a Health Care Organization
According to the Health Research & Educational Trust, culturally competent treatment is beneficial to the patients, community, and organizations (Henderson et al., 2018). Having a culture-competent organization results in greater health outcomes, more compassion and common understanding among patients, and enhanced involvement from the local population. Therefore, the major benefits of implementing programs in addressing cultural competency proficiency within healthcare organizations include business benefits. Improved efficiency of quality healthcare, growth in market share for the organization, removal of roadblocks that impede progress, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and incorporation of diverse perspectives, concepts, and techniques into decision-making processes are just a few of the goals—secondly, health care benefits (Pacquiao, 2018). The goals of this initiative include eliminating inequities in care among patient populations, increasing preventative care, improving the gathering of patient information, and lowering the number of health mistakes, treatments, and visits to the doctor.
Finally, the benefit of implementing such programs enhances social benefits. Social benefits involve maximization of trust within the social group within the community, promoting inclusive community membership, involvement of the community in the healthcare issues, and promoting mutual understanding and respect among the patients and the organizations within the community. An example of such circumstance includes; From the standpoint of an employer, increasing the number of culturally competent and diverse specialists on staff may assist the organization in becoming more competitive in the delivery of health care. Other examples include providing ethnically and linguistically appropriate care and developing a culturally sensitive health management system (Pacquiao, 2018).
Determine The Cost to The Organization of Not Implementing These Types of Programs
Implementing programs that address cultural competency proficiency within a health care organization enhances the organization’s management to save capital. The ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries makes patients safer. Healthcare practitioners may collect accurate medical information when there is clear communication. It also supports active discussions wherein patients and healthcare practitioners may ask questions, clarify misconceptions, and establish trust. When programs are not established within the organization, more funding will be channeled at dealing with disparities without actually attending to patients within the health care organization.
Daniels, N. (2013). Reducing health disparities. Inequalities in Health, 178-196. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931392.003.00134
Glasgow, R. E., & Estabrooks, P. E. (2018). Peer-reviewed: Pragmatic applications of RE-AIM for health care initiatives in community and clinical settings. Preventing chronic disease, 15.
Henderson, S., Horne, M., Hills, R., & Kendall, E. (2018). Cultural competence in healthcare in the community: A concept analysis. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26(4), 590-603.
Pacquiao, D. (2018). Conceptual framework for culturally competent care. Global Applications of Culturally Competent Health Care: Guidelines for Practice, 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69332-3_1
Shepherd, S. M., Willis-Esqueda, C., Newton, D., Sivasubramaniam, D., & Paradies, Y. (2019). The challenge of cultural competence in the workplace: perspectives of healthcare providers. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-11.