National standards for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health care: Policy implications for nursing

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After more than 2 years of preparation and revision, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally released the "National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Yu Xu Services Office of Minority Health, 2000) (The Standards hereafter) on December 15, 2000. This policy document is explicitly intended for policymakers, health care accrediting agencies, patients, purchasers of health care benefits, health care advocates, educators, and the health care community in general. Prior to the Standards, no comprehensive nationally recognized standards of cultural and linguistic competency in health care service delivery were developed. Although policies, regulations, and protocols regarding culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) have been in existence in various parts of the country, they are largely defined by individual federal agencies and health providers, and vary widely. It is not surprising to find a geographic imbalance with regard to CLAS. Needs of the cultural and linguistic minorities have been best met, in terms of both quality and quantity, by health care organizations on either coast, where cultural and linguistic minorities concentrate.


Communication in nursing; Cultural competence; Intercultural communication; Medical care; Transcultural nursing


International and Intercultural Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Nursing | Other Nursing


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