Improving Health Care through Awareness

Improving Health Care through Awareness


Cultural competence is a slippery concept. The Joint Commission publication, Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals (2010), defined cultural competence as “the ability of health care providers and health care organizations to understand and respond effectively to the cultural and language needs brought by the patient to the health care encounter” (p. 1).

For this discussion, review Pérez and Luquis (p. 192, paragraph 1), focusing on health education and promotion.

After considering what we have explored to date, think globally (within the context of cultural competence) and answer the following questions in less than one page:

  • Do you think cultural competence can be mastered? If yes, why? If no, why not? Support your assumptions or statements with examples, readings, or outside research.
  • How important is effective communication to improve practitioner-patient care? Provide an example in a health care setting. (Health literacy might be an area to explore.)
  • What abilities do you think would be useful in developing cultural competence or proficiency?
  • List and support two recommendations for working with culturally diverse groups, from a health care leader’s perspective.


The Joint Commission. (2010). Advancing effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care: A roadmap for hospitals. Retrieved from

Response Guidelines

Read the posts of your peers and respond to at least two. Develop and present follow-up questions or supporting statements that may help clarify their perspectives.