Case 3

In: Social Issues

Submitted By pchenry11
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In recent years, patient-centeredness and cultural competence have been promoted as integral to improving health care quality. Although patient- centeredness and cultural competence have grown out of separate traditions each with its own focus they have many similarities. Health care that is patient-centered is likely also to be culturally competent, and culturally competent care is likely to be patient-centered. Proponents of patient-centeredness may therefore view cultural competence as within its purview; likewise, proponents of cultural competence may view patient-centeredness as an essential element.

Patient-centered care supports active involvement of patients and their families in the design of new care models and in decision-making about individual options for treatment. The IOM (Institute of Medicine) defines patient-centered care as: "Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions." The term “patient-centered medicine” was originally coined by Balint in 1969 to express the belief that each patient “has to be understood as a unique human being (Balint)".The concept has evolved and expanded, and today, no one would deny that health care should be patient-centered.2 However, despite universal endorsement of patient-centeredness, there is considerable ambiguity in its definition and use across settings. To understand this variability, it is worthwhile to examine the evolution of the concept.

Cultural competence is defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enables that system, agency, or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations (Cross).
The issue of…...

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