Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care
Patient-Centered Communication Standards for Hospitals
The Patient-Centered Communication standards were approved in December 2009 and released to the field in January 2010. The standards will be published in the 2011 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals (CAMH): The Official Handbook. Joint Commission surveyors will evaluate compliance with the Patient-Centered Communication standards beginning January 1, 2011; however, findings will not affect the accreditation decision. The information collected by Joint Commission surveyors and staff during this implementation pilot phase will be used to prepare the field for common implementation questions and concerns. Compliance with the Patient-Centered Communication standards will be included in the accreditation decision no earlier than January 2012.
Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals
This monograph was developed by The Joint Commission to inspire hospitals to integrate concepts from the communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care fields into their organizations. The Roadmap for Hospitals provides recommendations to help hospitals address unique patient needs, meet the new Patient-Centered Communication standards, and comply with existing Joint Commission requirements. Example practices, information on laws and regulations, and links to supplemental information, model policies, and educational tools are also included. The Patient-Centered Communication standards will be presented in a separate appendix that provides self-assessment guidelines and example practices for each standard.
Access a free copy of Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals (Requires Adobe Reader).
R3 Report Issue 1
Published for Joint Commission accredited organizations and interested health care professionals, R3 Report provides the rationale and references that The Joint Commission employs in the development of new requirements. While the standards manuals also provide a rationale, the rationale provided in R3 Report goes into more depth. The references provide the evidence that supports the requirement. R3 Report may be reproduced only in its entirety and credited to The Joint Commission. Issue 1 of the R3 Report, published in February 2011, is focused on the patient-centered communication standards.
Video: Improving Patient-Provider Communication
The Joint Commission and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights have worked together to support language access in health care organizations with the video Improving Patient-Provider Communication: Joint Commission Standards and Federal Laws.
Amid growing concerns about racial, ethnic and language disparities in health care, The Joint Commission and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights have worked together to support language access in health care organizations with the video Improving Patient-Provider Communication: Joint Commission Standards and Federal Laws.
Health care organizations face challenges to accommodate increasingly diverse patient populations – more than 28 million people with hearing loss and about 47 million people who speak a language other than English. Language access remains a matter of national importance. Effective communication is a critical aspect of safe, quality patient care. Many patients of varying circumstances require alternative communication methods, and this new video will help health care organizations to determine the best methods of care for meeting these communication needs.
The video highlights what is required by Joint Commission standards as well as Federal civil rights laws with respect to patients who are deaf/hard of hearing or limited English proficient. Accompanying the video is a list of resources and tools that health care organizations can use to build effective language access programs.
View video (Part 1 – Part 4)
Download the list of resources: Resources Related to Effective Communication
For additional information on federal laws related to language access and for additional resources on effective communication, please visit the Office for Civil Rights Web site. Language Access and the Law is a document prepared by the HLC staff that summarizes the current laws and regulations that address the provision of language services.
Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: Meeting the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Patients and Families.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT) and their families reside in every county in the United States and include members of every racial, ethnic, religious, mental and physical ability/disability, age and socioeconomic group. The 8.8 million lesbian, gay, and bisexual people now estimated to be living in the United States experience disparities not only in the prevalence of certain physical and mental health conditions, but also in health care due to lack of awareness and insensitivity to their unique needs. These issues include the denial of visitation access, restrictions on medical decision making for LGBT family members, a distrust of the health care system and hesitation to disclose their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with medical professionals. With funding from The California Endowment, the Joint Commission convened a panel of stakeholders on September 13, 2010 identify practices and articulate implementation processes to help promote effective communication and patient- and family-centered care for LGBT patients and families. For more information, please contact us for more information.
Standards in Support of Language and Culture
The Joint Commission views the issue of the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services as an important quality and safety issue and a key element in individual-centered care. It is well recognized that the individual’s involvement in care decisions is not only an identified right, but is a necessary source of accurate assessment and treatment information. The Joint Commission has been studying these issues through its Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation (HLC) study, and HLC staff have developed several resources that highlight The Joint Commission standards that support the provision of care, treatment, and services in a manner that is conducive to the communication, cultural, language, health literacy, and spiritual/religious needs of individuals.
To access a copy of The Joint Commission 2009 Requirements Related to the Provision of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Care click on the links below. A comprehensive list of Joint Commission standards that support culturally competent patient-centered care are available for the following programs:
- Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program (AHC)
- Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program (BHC)
- Critical Access Hospitals Accreditation Program (CAH)
- Hospital Accreditation Program (HAP)
- Long Term Care Accreditation Program (LTC)
- Home Care Accreditation Program (OME)
Additional Reports and Resources
Exploring Cultural and Linguistic Services in the Nation’s Hospitals: A Report of Findings
The first report released by the HLC study presents the challenges hospitals face when providing care and services to culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and discusses the way hospitals are addressing those challenges. For more information, read a 1-page summary of the Report of Findings.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations
Our latest research report provides a framework for hospitals and other health care organizations to develop and employ practices for meeting diverse patient needs. The report also includes a self-assessment tool that organizations can use to initiate discussions about the needs, resources, and goals for providing the highest quality care to every patient served. For more information, read a
1-page summary of One Size Does Not Fit All.
“What Did the Doctor Say?: Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety.”
This public policy white paper frames the existing communications gap between patients and caregivers as a series of challenges involving literacy, language, and culture, and suggests multiple steps that need to be taken to narrow or even close this gap. The detailed solutions developed by a special Joint Commission Expert Roundtable focus on making effective communications a priority in protecting the safety of patients; addressing patient communications needs across the spectrum of care; and pursuing public policy changes that promote better communications between health care practitioners and patients.
If you would like to learn more about this topic or if you have resources to offer, please contact us.