Assess Your Cultural Competency Online

Assess Your Cultural Competency Online

November 13, 2012
City of Paterson, New Jersey

The definition of cultural competency in health care services is a complex one but, at heart, it refers to the ability to deliver care to patients in light of their background, knowledge, belief system, and language. In a word: culture. Ryan White agencies deliver HIV/AIDS care to underserved populations and have a particular need to be culturally competent, given that Ryan White clients come from diverse backgrounds, based on race, ethnicity, language, educational level, sexual orientation, and other factors.

Where should a Ryan White agency start in determining its cultural competency and what should it do in order to fill any gaps? A host of resources has been developed at the Federal level to guide agencies in cultural competency. Materials developed for the Ryan White Community can be found on the TARGET Center cultural competency topic page.

Online Competency Tool

However, a review these materials might be aided by some type of initial assessment to determine what is needed when it comes to cultural competency. A case in point involves the Paterson/Bergen and Passaic Counties Transitional Grant Area (TGA) in New Jersey. The TGA, a Ryan White Part A grantee, worked with a local team to develop an online cultural competency assessment tool to evaluate the level of cultural competency of providers in its area and is using the results to improve the quality of care being delivered. The tool was modified from an instrument developed by the National Cultural Competency Center, called the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Policy Assessment. The online instrument includes about 100 questions and takes around 1 hour to complete.

Paterson Uses Many Online Tools

The TGA’s Planning Council and grantee use various online tools to conduct Ryan White activities, including an online needs assessment, a consumer satisfaction, survey, a provider online resource center (eg, to access policy notices, RFAs, and forms), and a consumer online resource center survey (to find services).

Contact the Paterson TGA to learn more about its online assessment activities, including its cultural competency assessment resources.