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The Beryl Institute News: In the News

The Role of Cultural Competence in Delivering Positive Patient Experiences: 4 Focal Points

Thursday, August 11, 2011  
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A new white paper by The Beryl Institute visits the importance of cultural competence and cultural sensitivity in the healthcare sector and how they impact the experience of patients, their families and support groups. 

Over the past decade, the importance of cultural competence as a critical facet for the provision of high quality healthcare has risen. Cultural competence has been defined in the context of healthcare delivery, specifically focusing on the provider-patient interaction. The issue of cultural competence and awareness is critical due to the increasingly changing demographics in the United States and around the world. This results in diverse patient populations from different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Today, in the United States, 27 percent of the total population is an ethnic and/or racial minority. In addition, 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population is foreign born; of these, 53.6 percent are from Latin America and 26 percent are from Asia (according to the 2007 American Community Survey). While these numbers are not the primary reason to focus on cultural competence, they are important to consider as key factors in why the healthcare industry must be prepared to manage an increasingly diverse patient population.

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