It is extremely important that patient-centered care fosters a culturally sensitive and diverse environment designed to make patients feel welcome. While a patients’ safety must always be at the forefront of a providers concern, to become truly patient-centered health care providers must develop a good understanding of the values, beliefs, and attitudes of the population that it serves. This understanding will help improve the quality of health care delivered by the provider and the valuable of care received by the patient.
Fostering a culturally sensitive and diverse environment is a crucial part of providing a quality health care service. By making patients of all cultures feel more welcome when they visit their health care provider, both the patient, and the provider will experience benefits. Joseph, Keller, Taylor, and Quan (2011) studied the effects of cultural factors in multicultural health care interactions and made the following observations. Providers should always be familiar with the cultural make-up of their patients. People belonging to particular cultural groups will likely follow their own standards and customs in health care events such as births, deaths and illnesses. These beliefs may be alien to the provider, but efforts must be made to understand and respect them.
Providers may also encounter distrust from minorities and should take the time to explain proposed treatments so that they make sense within the context of a cultural view. Care should be taken when designing the physical environment, which includes the layout of spaces, visual cues and symbols, as these elements can all have different meanings to different cultures.
To effectively reach out to other ...
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...vider and the patient.
Allison, G., & Feeney, C. (2004). Successful use of a polymerized hemoglobin blood substitute in a critically anemic Jehovah's Witness. Southern Medical Journal, 97(12), 1257-1258.
CDPHE. (2005). The American Indian population—health status. Retrieved from http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/ohd/ethnicdisparitiesreport/24_amindstats.pdf
Joseph, A., Keller, A., Taylor, E., & Quan, X. (2011). Designing safety-net clinics for cultural sensitivity. Retrieved from http://www.chcf.org/~/media/MEDIA%20LIBRARY%20Files/PDF/D/PDF%20DesigningClinicsCulturalSensitivity.pdf
Murray, M. (2000). Same-day appointments: Exploding the access paradigm. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/fpm/2000/0900/p45.html
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