The idea of connecting cultural competency to quality is not one that is new. In fact, there are products and people who have been in this mode for a long time. For example Resources for Cross Cultural Health has hosted a conference entitled National Conference Series on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations, which they have hosted since 1998.
In addition there are people like Joe Betancourt, MD, MPH who was one of the principal authors of the IOM report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare published in 2002 who along with his colleagues and leading health disparities researchers, Emilio Carrillo, MD and Alexander Green, MD, MPH created the cultural competency educational tool, Quality Interactions. The name of this product, that teaches health professionals about cultural competency indicates that the creators aligned cultural competency with quality from the beginning of its creation. Thus, as leading researchers and thought leaders in the field they get that cultural competency goes hand in hand with quality healthcare.
So, the idea is not new. However, the idea of aligning quality with cultural competency is not commonly practices. It is not practiced in healthcare where one may consider it to be obvious since the bottom line of healthcare delivery is quality and efficacy. It is why we focus so much on evidence-based practice. Nonetheless, a conscious and consistent conversation aligning the concepts of cultural competency with that of quality has yet to come to light for the majority of healthcare organizations. more