Health Affairs April 11, 2024
James Colbert, Chethan Sathya

In 2023, nearly one-third of immigrants who sought health care in the US reported obstacles in receiving respectful communication from their providers. That is equivalent to a little more than 10 million people—roughly the entire population of Michigan. Troubling figures such as this exemplify the urgent need for our health care system to broadly improve its cultural competency—the ability to provide equitable care that addresses the needs, preferences, and values of every patient.

While language barriers add to these difficulties, delivering culturally competent care goes beyond speaking the same tongue—care teams must address a complex array of patient-provider communication obstacles. Recent evidence suggests, on average, doctors use more “verbally dominant” and less patient-centered communication with Black US patients. Simultaneously, Black,...

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Topics: Digital Health, Equity/SDOH, Healthcare System, Patient / Consumer, Provider, Technology
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