Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services: Workshop Summary

The aging and evolving racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population has the United States in the midst of a profound demographic shift and health care organizations face many issues as they move to address and adapt to this change. In their drive to adequately serve increasingly diverse communities, health care organizations are searching for approaches that will enable them to provide information and service to all persons, regardless of age, race, cultural background, or language skills, in a manner that facilitates understanding and use of that information to make appropriate health decisions.

To better understand how the dynamic forces operating in health care today impact the delivery of services in a way that is health literate, culturally competent, and in an appropriate language for patients and their families, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a public workshop on the integration of health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services. Participants discussed skills and competencies needed for effective health communication, including health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services; interventions and strategies for integration; and differing perspectives such as providers and systems, patients and families, communities, and payers. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Population of focus: Health care providers

Link to resource: Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services: Workshop Summary

Date: 2016

Organization: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine