Cultural differences between patients, staff, and physicians pose barriers to true patient involvement. Such differences can occur in thoughts, communications, customs, beliefs, and values. Cultural competence, therefore, is integrating the knowledge of cultural differences into your standards, policies, and practices to increase the quality of services and thereby improve patient outcomes. It promotes inclusiveness, respect, and value with regard to cultural differences.
Examining and improving cultural competence can have a positive impact on prevention, identification, and treatment of your patients. Failing to do so can affect what information you are able to gather for a patient history and about patient symptoms, which you use to diagnose illness and provide quality treatment. Handle these issues from an organizational standpoint, including incorporating them into your policies and procedures.