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Equitable care

Cross-cultural care & service initiative

Regions Hospital is committed to transforming care for our patients and our community through our Cross Cultural Care and Service initiative. This fact sheet outlines some of our key efforts and successes with this initiative:

What is it?

Also called culturally competent care, cross cultural care and service refers to the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language and behaviors of individuals receiving services, as well as staff who are providing such services.

It is the ability to provide care which results in best outcomes for patients and which reduces health disparities.

Why do we need this?

A landmark report from the Institute of Medicine, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, found that racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites do, even when insurance status, income, age and severity of conditions are comparable.

What are some examples of health disparities?

In Minnesota, African American, American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander women are three to four times more likely than white women to have cervical cancer even though routine screening can prevent it.

In the Twin Cities metro area, people of color are nearly three times more likely to die before the age of 65 than whites.

One person in 20 lacks health insurance in Minnesota. Among African Americans, the rate is one in five. Among Hispanics, more than one in three do not have health insurance.

What is Regions Hospital doing to provide equitable care?

  • Gathering data (self-reported by patients) at the clinic and hospital level on race, country of origin and language preference. This data will be used to measure the quality of care delivered to different groups and to identify ways to ensure the delivery of equitable care.
  • Upgrading interpretive services which currently includes all key languages spoken by our patients (Cambodian, Lao, Thai, Oromo, Amharic, Spanish, French, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, Russian and American Sign Language). Interpreter services are available for more than 150 other languages through the HealthPartners Language Line telephone service.
  • Through a grant from the Medtronic Foundation, disseminating best practices in culturally competent care from Regions Center for International Health, to hospitalized patients.