Toward Health Care Equity: Sensitive Care for a Diverse Patient Population

ISBN# 9781635853278

A reference guide for all staff in your health care organization to use. Features basic knowledge about the ways in which patients are diverse—culture, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age/generation, physical/psychological/developmental disability, and more—and how these differences affect their health care needs. 

Release Date: July 31, 2023. PDF Site License. 104 pages. 

Toward Health Care Equity: Sensitive Care for a Diverse Patient Population
  • Toward Health Care Equity: Sensitive Care for a Diverse Patient Population
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Product Description

Product Description

“Every patient deserves the right to safe, equitable health care. All health care organizations have a responsibility to identify and address the disparities that their unique patient populations face.”
—Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, President and CEO, The Joint Commission
In a world becoming more conscious than ever of our differences from each other, we need to continue to put the care in health care.  That means health care providers must understand and respect those differences to provide truly equitable health care for all patients.  
To move toward health care equity, then, is to proactively establish, reinforce, and maintain policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable care, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts, and health outcomes. The first step toward providing equitable care is to develop cultural sensitivity or the ability to deliver culturally relevant care.  Toward Health Care Equity: Sensitive Care for a Diverse Patient Population aims to help health care providers learn more about the diverse populations they serve.  With learning comes awareness and, hopefully, understanding, respect, sensitivity, and equitable care for every patient. 
The purpose of this guide is to provide health care professionals with some basic knowledge and awareness about the myriad ways in which their patients are diverse.  This guide also encourages health care providers to recognize and address their own and systemic health care biases and to reject assumptions or stereotypes about individuals or groups.
Toward Health Care Equity: Sensitive Care for a Diverse Patient Population builds on the Third Expanded Edition of Cultural and Religious Sensitivity: A Pocket Guide for Health Care Professionals authored by Geri-Ann Galanti and published by Joint Commission Resources in 2018.  Indeed, the world has changed tremendously since its publication five years ago, with its heightened awareness of human diversity and health care disparities.  With that awareness has come a new and/or renewed energy toward health care equity.  Therefore, this current guide is retitled to focus on the crucial need to move toward health care equity, which reflects The Joint Commission’s own prioritization of this need.
This guide features new content that includes additional ways in which an individual’s diversity may affect their health outcomes and interactions with the health care system. In addition to race, ethnicity, religion, and spirituality, this guide also explores how a patient’s sexual orientation and gender identification may affect their health outcomes; how age and generation may contribute to beliefs and attitudes about health care; and how individuals with physical, psychological, and developmental differences may feel stigmatized and less likely to seek health care when needed. All these aspects of diversity can profoundly affect an individual’s health care encounter and subsequent health itself. This guide is intended to educate health care professionals and help them provide culturally sensitive care, which refers to the ability to understand and respond effectively to the cultural needs that patients bring to their health care encounters.
The Joint Commission is committed to strengthening the connection between equity and quality in health care. To achieve sustainable improvement, we need to approach health care equity in the same way The Joint Commission approaches other crucial patient safety priorities—by understanding the root causes and implementing targeted standards of care.  One of the root causes is a lack of understanding of patient diversity, which we hope this guide helps to mitigate.
Key Topics
Sensitivity related to the cultural needs of diverse patients, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pediatric care
  • Spiritual health
  • Dietary needs
  • Medication concerns
  • Palliative care and end-of-life needs
  • Healing beliefs and practices
Key Features
Easy-to-use information about health care needs, expectations, and perceptions based on the following:
  • Race, ethnicity, and country of origin
  • Gender, sexual orientation, and gender or sexual identity
  • Physical, psychological, and developmental and intellectual differences
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Age and generation
Standards: LD, NPSG, PC, RI
Settings: All care settings
Key Audience
  • Staff educators and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) coordinators
  • Frontline care providers, including nurses, physicians,  and other clinicians
  • Health care professionals
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Click on the Table of Contents below for details.

Table of Contents

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