A Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit

National Standards
Background | Basic Concepts: Genetic Counseling and Genetics | Basic Concepts: Cultural and Linguistic Competence | Legislation

I n this section, we provide information about the standards set for health care providers in the U.S. related to cultural competency. The Office of Minority Health website can be considered to be ‘home base’ for learning about and gathering data on cultural competency, health disparities, minority populations. The CLAS or Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services standards provide the roadmap for any health care provider or institution to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care for all people. If you are working in a Wheelchairhospital, additional standards have been set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). We also suggest reviewing the National Quality Forum and Agency for Health Care Research and Quality sites.

They are excellent resources for data and information about educational initiatives and activities targeting minority populations in health care settings. Lastly, The NCQA Multicultural Health Care standards and distinction program website highlights and recognizes health plans for their exemplary efforts and demonstrated effectiveness in promoting cultural competence and addressing the health care needs of diverse members.

Read about innovative health care programs that focus on:

It is critical for genetic counselors to participate in organizational cultural competence efforts and activities to improve the quality of all health care within their home institutional settings. Please review and use these national standards, and collaborate with your institution to continuously assess, improve and evaluate the service provided.

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