CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN CASE MANAGEMENT 1
THEIMPORTANCE OF CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN CASE MANAGEMENT
World trends such as globalization and immigration have resulted in amore culturally diverse nation regarding race, ethnic groups,religion, and age. The distinct traditional practices madeindividuals portray different behaviors based on their attitudes andsocial status. In a healthcare environment, cultural competence isconsidered a significant skill that professional case managers shouldpossess to satisfy the needs of their clients. Cultural competencyrefers to, “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policiesthat come together in a system, agency or profession to workeffectively in cross-cultural situations” (Hark & DeLisser,2011). The health department understands that culture consists ofdifferent elements such as beliefs, values, socioeconomic status,ethnicity, level of literacy, and attitude. It is not easy tointegrate and comprehend all the factors due to their broad nature,but they remain crucial in the delivery of healthcare to patients.The paper seeks to discuss the importance of cultural competency incase management.
Most countries are taking the initiative of providing better healthservices to their citizens. For instance, the American governmentdeveloped and implemented healthcare legislations that led to theimproved medical provision in the country. The number of insuredpersons also increased as the insurance covers were made affordableunder the Affordable Care Act (Mitchell, 2015). One of thesignificance of cultural competency is that it helps in reducing thehealth disparities among racial and ethnic groups. The medicalinequalities exist among the vulnerable populations such as the minorethnic groups with limited access to healthcare. In othercircumstances, the language barrier between case managers and theclients tend to hinder effective communication resulting in impropertreatment of patients. The health disparities included cases wheremortality rates were higher among the blacks than the whites wherethe victims gave in to preventable conditions such as diabetes,asthma, and tuberculosis (Mitchell, 2015). Reports on the progress ofthe implemented reforms show that access to quality healthcare amongthe American population reduces the ratio of health disparity thatused to be experienced (Hark & DeLisser, 2011). However, it isbelieved that the best medical outcomes are being achieved in medicalcenters that have adopted cultural competency. Doctors that areculturally sensitive are overcoming the communication barrier andunderstanding their patients, thus subjecting them to the requiredtreatment for their conditions. Therefore, improving access toquality healthcare is not sufficient because even if people can seekmedical services but the professionals fail to understand them, itlimits the achievement of the desired health outcome. Hence, culturalsensitivity is essential as it helps to reduce health disparities.
Cultural competence is also significant as it allows case managers toprovide holistic care to their patients. When the healthcare reformswere applied in the US, a high population believed that the changeswould improve the medical status of the country (Hark & DeLisser,2011). Most individuals obtained health insurance including theunemployed because of the increased access to affordable care. Thegovernment approach was aimed at restoring the trust and confidencein the services delivered by the government. Enhancing culturalcompetence within medical facilities was the most efficient approach.When a client feels that someone completely understands them, theybecome fully satisfied and acquire a patient-centered care. Accordingto the Cognitive behavioral theory, the thoughts and feelings of anindividual tend to influence his/her behavior (Mendenhall, et al.,2013). If a person engages in faulty thoughts, he/she views the worldaround as defective. An application of the theory within thehealthcare system shows that when clients seek medical services andfail to be understood because of the cultural differences, they mayconsider the entire system as ineffective. However, when the barrieris removed, they think of the facilities as a successful one. Hence,professional case managers need to have adequate training to handle aculturally diverse population and even develop an organizationalculture that embraces diversity.
When offering services to others, employees are urged to develop agood rapport with their clients to build a better image of theorganization. Similarly, professional case managers are called todevelop good relations with their patients and colleagues. Theinteractions are based on mutual respect that enhances theunderstanding between the parties involved. Cultural competency iscritical in the case management because it allows the professionalsto establish better relations with the customers (Hark &DeLisser, 2011). The managers are aware that their clients mightrefer other patients to their organizations or demand the services infuture. Hence, by embracing cultural competency in the provision ofcare ensures that the recipients provide positive feedback. Freud inhis psychoanalytic theory states that the personality of individualdepends on the interactions in his mind that develop from childhoodto adulthood (Lichtman, 2012). Based on his theory, it can beargued, that if the case manager meets the expectations of a patient,they are likely to return to the facility in future because of thesatisfaction. Therefore, it can be argued that the significance ofcultural competency in case management also promotes better healthstatus of a nation because the experts provide the right care andtreatment.
In conclusion, the discussion shows that cultural sensitivity in casemanagement is essential at various levels. Cultural competency helpsto reduce the health disparities among vulnerable populations. Italso ensures that professional case managers are providing therequired treatment and care to its client by enhancing understandingof any cultural difference that may arise. It is also significant asit enables the case management professionals to develop a betterrapport with its patients, which is essential for the future of thehealthcare facility.
Hark, L., & DeLisser, H. (2011). Achieving CulturalCompetency: A Case-Based Approach to Training Health Professionals.New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Lichtman, C. (2012). The Mind of a Leaderless Organization.Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 32(4), 412-423.doi:10.1080/07351690.2011.609396
Mendenhall, M. E., Arnardottir, A. A., Oddou, G. R., & Burke, L.A. (2013). Developing Cross-Cultural Competencies in ManagementEducation via Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. Academy of ManagementLearning & Education, 12(3), 436-451.doi:10.5465/amle.2012.0237
Mitchell, F. M. (2015). Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in anEra of Health Care Reform. Health & Social Work, 40(3),e66-e74. doi:10.1093/hsw/hlv038