Background Image: Image: Nurse and doctor talking to happy hospital patient after surgery
Lead by example.
Every day, hospitals and health care providers demonstrate what it means to honor people’s needs — and their differences.
Joint Commission standards have supported the provision of care, treatment, and services in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to individual patient needs for many years. Since care spans a broad continuum and involves a complex interplay of both individual and system behaviors, the standards that support effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care are found throughout the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals (CAMH).
Effective communication is critical to the successful delivery of health care services. The Joint Commission supports efforts to improve communication between health care professionals and patients. It’s been estimated that there are more than 300 languages spoken in the United States and more than 90 million Americans have low health literacy, meaning they have difficulty understanding and using health information. The Joint Commission recommends an approach to communicating health information that encompasses language needs, individual understanding, and cultural and other communication issues.
The Joint Commission applauds your commitment to health equity and literacy. Whether you’re helping patients overcome language barriers, or making sure your staff respects cultural needs, your efforts make it easier for people to access care and live healthy lives.
We also know that sometimes you need help training employees, implementing programs or adopting best practices. Below you’ll find resources that can assist you.