Cultural Competency in Health Care

Cultural Competency in Health Care

“Cultural competence in health care describes the ability of systems and health care professionals to provide high quality care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural and linguistic needs.”  (Source: Commonwealth Fund, Cultural Competence in Health Care Report)

Cultural Competency Resources

Considering Culture in Autism Screening Products

The MA Act Early team has developed the following materials for pediatric clinicians and community health center providers to use when conducting autism screening with children from families whose primary language is not English. These free materials may be downloaded and printed for use in practice.

Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) at Massachusetts General Hospital

DSC is dedicated to the development and implementation of strategies that advance policy and practice to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

This Guide, includes a thorough review of peer-reviewed literature, key informant interviews with hospital leaders, and case studies of innovative approaches that hospitals are undertaking to identify and address disparities, as well as to achieve equity. (Published Dec 2008)

Joint Commission Research Reports:

This video features staff from the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation discussing Joint Commission standards and resources that advance health equity and patient centered care.

Assessment tool that can be used to engage members of health organizations in discussions about the needs, resources, and goals for providing the highest quality care to every patient served.

Some resources that may be helpful in learning more about effective communication and planning for and providing language services.

Reducing Disparities in  Health Care

The American Medical Association offers a toolkit: Health Disparities Toolkit
“Working Together to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities: One Physician at a Time” includes tools to help physicians and medical students eliminate gaps in health care based on race and culture.

Quality Interactions

E-learning program that provides cultural competency and cross cultural training for nurses and health care staff.


Fact Sheet last updated on: 6/23/2022


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