Week 5

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Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, read the following:

There are additional optional resources in the Recommended Resources area of the classroom.

When we think of the health care delivery system and providing positive health care outcomes for patients it is important to consider cultural competency throughout the organization. Respecting the beliefs and cultural customs of patients helps to reduce patient anxiety, improves communications processes, and aids in relationship building processes between patients and their caregivers. Organizations that recognize the value and importance of cultural diversity also recognize that cultural competence reduces disparities that are often found within the health care delivery system (e.g., use of certain words in each language and hand gesture differences, medical biases, and individual norms and values). Benefits of cultural competency include aspects such as a greater understanding of patient expectations. When organizations have greater cultural competency, they gain a greater economic market share. Additionally, patients benefit through reduced medical error rates and enhanced preventative care programs. Lastly, communities benefit in terms of enhanced trust and a feeling of inclusion that promotes health care responsibility for self and the community.

The Joint Commission updated the cultural competency standards in 2010 to improve access to and quality of care for all patients. These standards are intended to provide guidance for organizations as they work to address the needs of all patients (The Joint Commission, 2011). Despite these very clear standards, health care organizations continue to see disparate outcomes due to implicit biases in health care workers. “Implicit bias refers to prejudicial attitudes towards and stereotypical beliefs about a particular social group or members therein. These prejudicial attitudes and stereotypical beliefs are activated spontaneously and effortlessly, which often result in discriminatory behaviors” (Hagiwara et al., 2020, para. 1).

In your initial post:

  • Give an example of an explicit and an implicit bias in health care. The example may include interactions with providers and administrative staff that you have experienced yourself, a real-world example found through research, or systemic biases that may occur in policies (e.g., those held by insurance companies, federal and state mandates, etc.).
  • Discuss the role biases have on patients’ perception of their access to and quality of health care.
  • Identify three initiatives that can be taken to overcome implicit biases in a health care organization.
    • Explain how your initiatives will reduce implicit bias.

Your initial post must be at least 250 words and must use at least one credible source to support your discussion content. The supporting resource can be one of the required or recommended resources provided in this course. The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. All referenced materials must include citations and references in APA format. Please see directions for including APA Style elements on these Writing Center pages: APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) and Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.).

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