Performance Improvement 2007. What Can Hospitals Do to Assure Their Policies and Practices Are Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate?



This project developed a survey instrument for use by hospitals to better determine whether their practices are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The assessment tool, the Cultural Competency Assessment Tool for Hospitals (CCATH) was based on the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care that were developed by the Office of Minority Health. The survey instrument enables hospital administrators, other health care managers, and health policymakers to assess whether their policies and practices are culturally and linguistically appropriate, compare cultural and linguistic quality improvement and monitoring efforts to regional and national benchmarks or norms, and examine the relationship between the standards and key outcomes that may be related to diversity management/cultural competency. Researchers described the protocols used to develop the assessment tool and conducted a comprehensive review of cultural competence assessment tools, pilot tested the instrument in six hospitals, and qualitatively tested the instrument using focus groups and cognitive interviews.

This project successfully initiated development of a survey to assess cultural competency in the provision of hospital care. Additionally, the project provided a solid support for administering the survey broadly. Key findings included: enthusiasm for the assessment instrument by hospital administrators but a recommendation that participating hospitals be provided comparative data to assess their performance; variability in the preferred method of distribution and survey administration, and difficulty on the part of respondents in completing it; and the need to develop a completion guide to facilitate the administration of the survey. Future use of the survey by the same hospitals should be easier. As a result of this study, the Office of Minority Health intends to continue refining and shortening the survey further to the extent possible in order to expedite data collection further. In addition, , a follow-up study was funded by the Commonwealth Fund that will allow the survey to be administered in a large scale field test. This next step will provide an opportunity to conduct extensive empirical analyses of the items in the Survey.

Report Title: Cultural Competency Assessment Tool for Hospitals: An Application of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health Care
Agency Sponsor: OPHS-OMH, Office of Minority Health
Federal Contact: Pacheco, Guadalupe, 240-453-2882
Performer: Rand Corporation; Santa Monica, CA
PIC ID: 7865

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"PerformanceImprovement2007.pdf" (pdf, 717.63Kb)

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