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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care. Overview of OMH Rationale for Cultural Competence OMH’ s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care (CLCCHC) Describe the CLAS Standards

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U s department of health and human services


National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care

  • Overview of OMH

  • Rationale for Cultural Competence

  • OMH’ s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care (CLCCHC)

  • Describe the CLAS Standards

  • Challenges

Office of minority health mission

Office of Minority Health Mission

To improve the health of racial and ethnic

populations through the development of

health policies and programs that help to

eliminate health disparities and gaps.

Omh s 7 4

OMH’s “7+4”

  • (1) Heart Disease & Stroke(2) Cancer; (3) Substance Abuse; (4) Diabetes; (5) Homicide, Suicide and Unintentional Injuries; (6) Infant Mortality; (7) HIV/AIDS.

  • Crosscutting areas: (1) Access to health care; (2) Improve Data Collection/Analysis; (3) Health Professions Development; and (4) Cultural Competence.

What does cultural competence mean

What Does Cultural Competence Mean?

  • Cultural Competence is the:

    • ability of health organizations and practitioners to recognize the cultural beliefs, attitudes and health practices of diverse populations, and

    • to apply that knowledge in every intervention;

      at the systems level or at the individual level.

Rationale for cultural competence

Rationale for Cultural Competence?

  • POR QUE (Why)?

Legislative framework for cultural competence

Legislative Framework for Cultural Competence

  • Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990; and

  • The Health Professions Education Partnership Act of 1998.



Language diversity in u s

Language Diversity in U.S.

  • Spanish17.1 million

  • French1.7 million

  • German1.5 million

  • Italian1.3 million

  • Chinese1.2 million

  • Tagalog843,000

    Source: U.S. Census 1990

Racial and ethnic distribution of selected health professions source hrsa u s census 2000

Racial and Ethnic Distribution of Selected Health Professions: Source: HRSA, U.S. Census 2000

Health divide

Health Divide

  • 1985 Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health revealed:

    • Minorities continue to have poor health;

    • Health disparities have worsened;

    • Minorities chronically underserved by the health care system.

  • IOM Report - March 2002.

The omh center for linguistic and cultural competence in health care

The OMH Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care

  • Mandated by Congress to develop projects to eliminate language barriers for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals to increase their access to health care.

  • Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards Project.

  • Cultural Competency Curriculum Modules (CCCMs).

  • Hispanic Cultural Competence for Medical Education Curriculum.

Why clas standards

Why CLAS Standards?

  • Address the patchwork of definitions, guidelines, overlap, etc., on what constitutes cultural competence service delivery.

  • Provide a road-map for providing culturally competent services.

  • Serve as guiding principles for the delivery of quality health care to diverse populations.

Clas as a vehicle to improve health

CLAS As A Vehicle to Improve Health

  • Improve access to services;

  • Reduce medical errors;

  • Improve effectiveness of preventive services;

Clas as a vehicle to improve health1

CLAS As A Vehicle to Improve Health

  • Improve patient satisfaction;

  • Improve patient compliance; and

  • Reduce financial costs and risks.

Clas standards

CLAS Standards

  • 14 National Recommended Standards: inform, guide, and facilitate implementation of CLAS.

  • Three themes:

    • Culturally Competent Care (1-3);

    • Language Access Services(4-7); and

    • Organizational Supports for Cultural Competence (8-14).

Culturally competent care 1

Culturally Competent Care - 1

Patients and consumers receive effective, understandable, and respectful health care.

Cultural competent care 2

Cultural Competent Care - 2

Recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse staff and leadership.

Cultural competent care 3

Cultural Competent Care - 3

All staff receive ongoing education and training.

Language access 4

Language Access - 4

Language assistance services, including bilingual staff and interpreters must be offered at no cost to the patient.

Language access 5

Language Access - 5

Patients and consumers must be informed of their right to language assistance services.

Language access 6

Language Access - 6

Health organizations must assure the competence of language assistance provided by interpreters/bilingual staff.

Language access 7

Language Access - 7

Availability of easily understood patient materials and applicable signage posted.

Organizational supports 8

Organizational Supports - 8

Written strategic plan with clear goals, policies, and accountability mechanisms.

Organizational supports 9

Organizational Supports -9

Conduct initial and ongoing organizational self-assessments, and

Integrate cultural and linguistic competence measures into overall program activities.

Organizational supports 10

Organizational Supports - 10

Patient data collection to include: race, ethnicity, and spoken and written language.

Organizational supports 11

Organizational Supports - 11

Maintain current demographic, cultural, and epidemiological community profiles, and

Conduct needs assessment on cultural and linguistic characteristics of the service area.

Organizational supports 12

Organizational Supports - 12

Participatory, collaborative partnerships to facilitate community and patient/ consumer involvement.

Organizational supports 13

Organizational Supports - 13

Ensure that conflict and grievance resolution processes are culturally and linguistically sensitive.

Organizational supports 14

Organizational Supports - 14

Keep the public informed about progress and successful innovations in implementing the CLAS standards.



  • Developing the evidence.

  • Marketing strategies.

  • Collaborating with medical societies.

  • Working at the State and Federal levels.

  • Working with advocacy groups.

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