Key Topics & Issues

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Organizational Cultural Competence

Improving the cultural and linguistic capacity of a health care organization.

  • Community Engagement

    Working with patients, families, and community representatives to design, implement, and evaluate health care services.

  • Leadership Development

    Educating managers, boards of directors, and other institutional leaders about the value of cultural and linguistic competence practices and encouraging them to support those practices. Developing leadership qualities in individuals and organizations in the cultural competence field.

  • Organizational Assessments and Measurement

    Measuring and evaluating the cultural and linguistic competence of health care organizations.

  • Organizational Plans Policies and Management Strategies

    Integrating cultural and linguistic competence into health care organization plans, policies, and management strategies.

  • Patient Demographic Data

    Collecting and using race, ethnicity, and language data to plan, improve, and evaluate health services and to reduce health disparities.

  • Quality Improvement

    Linking cultural and linguistic competence practices to organizational quality initiatives.

  • Workforce Diversity

    Training and recruiting to increase the diversity of health care organization staff and manage issues that arise in a multicultural work environment.

Culturally Competent Care

Addressing cultural issues that arise in the delivery of individual and community-based health services.

  • Care Management

    Coordinating services that addresses cultural and linguistic issues on behalf of a person within a health care institution or among several institutions. Includes medical home models.

  • Clinical Interactions

    Addressing cultural and linguistic issues in the context of clinical interactions; patient-provider communication.

  • Community Education

    Health promotion, disease prevention, and community health worker programs for community outreach to culturally diverse populations.

  • Mental Health/Substance Abuse

    Issues and strategies related to behavioral health for diverse populations.

  • Patient Education and Support

    Patient and family education, cultural support, and patient navigation within a health care institution that addresses cultural and linguistic issues.

  • Patient Safety

    Cultural and linguistic issues relating to the reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm to patients as a result of their care.

Cultural Competence Training

Providing or gaining knowledge and improving skills to more effectively provide care to diverse populations.

  • Assessment

    Evaluating cultural competence skills (pre- and post-training) and determining the need for cultural competence training in organizations. Evaluating the effectiveness of cultural competence training programs and curricula.

  • Continuing Education

    Requirements, curricula, and other training tools for teaching cultural competence in work settings or other non-degree educational situations.

  • Curricula Development

    Developing cultural competence training programs and courses of study in any setting.

  • Health Professions School Programs

    Requirements, curricula, and other training tools for use in medical, nursing, and other formal health professions degree programs.

Language Access

Effective communication with individuals who have limited English proficiency and low literacy skills.

  • Health Literacy

    Developing health information for low-literacy individuals or communities, especially those where limited English proficiency is a concern.

  • Interpreter Practices and Training

    Standards of practice, codes of ethics, skills assessments, certification, training and other issues related to the practice of interpretation for health, including the effective use of bilingual employees.

  • Language Needs Assessment

    Evaluating the need for interpreter and other language services in organizations and/or communities.

  • Language Services

    How to plan for, implement, manage, and evaluate interpreter or language service programs in organizations.

  • Translation

    Methods for translating and developing written health materials in languages other than English.


Laws, regulations, guidance, standards, accreditation requirements, and advocacy strategies related to cultural and linguistic competence. Includes analysis, reviews, and descriptions.

  • Accreditation Requirements

    Requirements for obtaining official accreditation or certification from accrediting organizations and maintaining compliance as it pertains to cultural and linguistic competence.

  • Advocacy

    Promoting policies and practices that meet cultural and linguistic competence needs and reduce health care disparities.

  • Local

    Local laws, regulations, guidance, and policy tools.

  • National

    Federal laws, regulations, guidance, and policy tools.

  • Standards

    Standards and other binding and non-binding guidelines.

  • State

    State laws, regulations, guidance, and policy tools.


Systematic investigation into and study of materials related to the impact of culture and language on health behaviors and health care delivery.

  • Bibliographies

    Lists of publications related to cultural and linguistically appropriate services.

  • Community-Based Participatory Research

    Studies and inquiries conducted as equal partnerships between academically trained experts and members of a community.

  • Methods and Management

    Systematic approaches and procedures for understanding and assessing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

  • Study Findings

    Data collected and conclusions reached as a result of inquiries, studies, or tests.

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