Test—and improve—your cultural competence at Annual Meeting
What’s the most important thing you can do to begin practicing culturally competent care? “Practice empathy and engagement,” says Ramon L. Jimenez, MD, chair of the Diversity Advisory Board. “Also, take the AAOS Cultural Competency Challenge! It’s excellent learning tool.”
You’ll be able to determine—and improve—your culturally competent care IQ during the Annual Meeting when you visit the Diversity in Orthopaedics exhibit in Academy Row. The Cultural Competency Challenge is a free, enjoyable and educational tool that tests your ability to effectively communicate with, and treat, an ethnically-diverse patient population. It provides an interactive review of the cultural sensitivities that orthopaedists need to possess in an increasingly diverse culture.
You can gauge your “cultural care IQ” as you review the 18 patient cases and 90 multiple choice questions. The questions cover a range of subjects, from how to address patients to respecting the customs of a specific culture.
“We have tried to make the questions very specific,” said Dr. Jimenez. “We’re trying to stimulate awareness. It’s a completely voluntary thing. We think people might learn some thing about themselves, and from there, awareness and sensitivity can only grow.”
Better communication means better outcomes
“Communication competency is a patient care issue because doctors who successfully communicate with their patients experience better patient outcomes,” according to Valerae O. Lewis, MD, a member of the Diversity Advisory Board. “Communication also has a direct correlation with medical liability. Doctors who get sued tend to be those who don’t communicate well with their patients.”
If you don’t believe patient diversity affects your practice, think again. Patient populations are changing across the nation; the U.S. foreign-born population numbered 34.2 million in 2004. Cultural differences between patients and their physicians can frequently present a communication barrier. But improved communication skills have been found to improve patient trust, compliance, and outcomes, as well as increase physician satisfaction.
“To sum it up, culturally competent communication improves patient care and thus patient outcomes. Therefore, it also improves a doctor’s financial outcomes,” says Dr. Lewis.
New Cultural Competent Care guidebook
In addition to taking the Cultural Competency Challenge, you’ll also be able to pick up the new Culturally Competent Care Guidebook, edited by Drs. Jimenez and Lewis. The guidebook expands on the CD for group situations and gives you a more intensive personal learning experience. Case examples and tip sheets—practical communication aids that provide a quick review of ethnic and cultural communication preferences in a clinical setting—help you immediately apply what you’ve learned.
Both the CD and the Guidebook with Tip Sheets are yours free. Pick them up at the Diversity in Orthopaedics booth, or order them online at www.aaos.org/ccc.