Demographic Shifts Increase Need for Culturally Competent Health Care 06/13/2005
I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Texas demographics are rapidly changing, and recent data show that growth in the non-Anglo Texas population will continue to increase dramatically throughout the next decade and beyond.
As a health care organization, this has a tremendous impact on how we treat and care for patients. At Texas Health Resources, we emphasize something called “culturally competent care.” Whether it’s providing access to health care workers who speak the same language or understanding a patient’s cultural needs, our health care workers are trained to offer what our patients need.
At THR, our goal is to have a health care system that more closely resembles the demographic makeup of our communities. Toward that end, internal programs and training are designed to help our employees of all cultures advance their careers. And, nursing scholarships provided by THR enable more students – from all ethnicities – to enter the health care profession.
To serve our patients best, we need to understand them as individuals. When they receive culturally competent care, patients may be more likely to follow through on their care, ask more questions and be more satisfied with their care. And, as we learn to better communicate with people from different cultures, preventive care can be emphasized – providing a benefit that can continue long after a hospital stay ends.
For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.