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Culture Care Connection offers the following tools to aid health care organizations, providers, and staff in their efforts to learn more about cultural competence.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. The national Office of Minority Health’s 14 National CLAS Standards represent the principles and activities of culturally and linguistically appropriate services that should be embodied by providers who care for diverse populations as well as integrated into health care organizations.

Culture Care Connection - Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Assessment. This online assessment was developed to help organizations assess adherence to the Office of Minority Health (OMH) CLAS standards. Results are provided in real time and include the identification of gaps as well as recommendations for addressing them.

Culture Care Connection information sheets were developed to help organizations and health care providers learn more about the background, religious and cultural beliefs, communication preferences, and common health issues of the predominant minority populations in Minnesota.

Diverse Community Media Directory. Minnesota Department of Health's quick reference for organizations working to identify appropriate ethnic media channels in the Twin Cities metro area and, to a limited extent, in greater Minnesota. Organizations may wish to identify media outlets with whom they would like to advertise organization services, health related events, or employment opportunities. (43-page PDF)

The Exchange. A partnership of Minnesota health care organizations, public health agencies, community groups, and health plans formed to share information and resources about health communication and multilingual health materials. Most Exchange resources and information are freely available. The online library of translated health materials is only available to Exchange members.

Know Your Community - Culture Care Connection. Details pertinent demographic, socioeconomic, and health status data, as well as information about vulnerable populations to allow providers and administrators an in-depth view of the communities they serve. This information can help inform strategy planning needed for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Minnesota County Health Rankings. Each county receives a summary rank for its health outcomes and health factors and for the four different types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Mutual Assistance Association and Community Based Organization Directory. A Minnesota Department of Health quick reference for organizations working to identify appropriate community based agencies that serve Minnesota's many diverse communities. Use this list to identify organizations for building collaborative partnerships. (38-page PDF)

Refugee Health In Minnesota. This presentation describes refugee and immigrant populations in Minnesota, cites the health needs assessed among new arrivals and identifies strategies to enhance culturally-specific health care services for new arrival populations. Developed by Carol Berg, public health manager, UCare (51-slide PowerPoint)

Culturally Competent Care

Additional tools specific to caring for diverse populations.

Ask Me 3. Developed by the Partnership for Clear Health Communication, this site is designed to improve health communication between patients and providers. It promotes three simple, but essential, questions that patients should ask their providers at every health care interaction. The site offers techniques providers can use to increase patients' comfort level with asking questions, as well as tools, information, and free downloadable materials in multiple languages to assist organizations with providing culturally competent care.

ICSI Clinical Guidelines. A basic tenet of effective clinical care is having care processes standardized across all populations. The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) is a Minnesota-based organization that works with medical groups, hospitals, health plans, purchasers, policy makers, and consumers to champion system-based improvements in health care. ICSI offers clinical guidelines, order sets, and protocols on a number of clinical topics.

Patient-Provider Communication

Additional tools specific to language access services.

Health Information Translations. Health Information Translations has developed a set of common hospital signs on topics such as diagnostic testing, diseases and conditions, food and diet, pain and comfort and safety translated into multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. This signage is provided to meet the needs of hospitals, clinics, emergency response teams, and others who care for patients from diverse populations. Signs can be used without copyright restrictions.

Health Literacy Toolkit. This free Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit offers specific actions your organization can take to make health information more understandable to all patients. It is designed for all levels of staff in adult and/or pediatric primary care, and comes with assessment tools, a bibliography of Web resources, sample materials, and a quick-start guide. Developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with support from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

How to Work Effectively with Interpreters - Training Module. This training assists health care providers with improving communication with limited English proficiency patients by helping providers learn to work effectively with interpreters. The training module can be facilitated in 45-minute, 1-hour, or 2-hour sessions. Developed by the Interpreting Stakeholders Group, an outreach group of the Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association. Available at no cost.

Minnesota Spoken Language Health Care Interpreter Roster. In 2008, legislation was passed establishing the Interpreter Services Quality Initiative. The Initiative requires the state to develop a voluntary statewide roster of spoken language health care interpreters. The information in the roster is provided by each interpreter and has not yet been verified. Future enhancements will require that roster participants demonstrate language proficiency and interpreting skills as well as attainment of education and training standards.

Notice: Free Interpreter Services Are Available. Provide information regarding the availability of interpreters to patients free of charge (CLAS Standards 4 and 5). The notice includes translations in 10 languages, including Hmong, Lao, Russian, Somali, and Spanish. Minnesota Department of Human Services. (1-page PDF)

Refugee Health Provider Guide. This Minnesota Department of Health manual contains valuable information to help providers assist patients from diverse backgrounds in understanding how to obtain health care services and understand associated responsibilities. It was designed as a reference document for health care providers who perform the Minnesota Initial Refugee Health Assessment exam.

Improving Service Delivery

Additional tools aimed at administrators of health care organizations on the topic of cultural competence that help build an organization's capacity to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Cultural Competency Standards Crosswalk. This crosswalk outlines the relationships between the OMH CLAS standards and the accreditation standards of the Joint Commission, URAC, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. (48-page PDF)

Cultural Competency Standards Crosswalk - Joint Commission. Crosswalk of the Office of Minority Health's National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) and The Joint Commission's 2009 Standards for the Hospital Accreditation Program. (24-page PDF)

Interview Questions for Assessing Knowledge and Skills Related to Cultural Competence. Sample questions to help organizations build interviews that help assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to cultural competence.

Multicultural Health Care: A Quality Improvement Guide. This guide serves as a resource for those wanting to undertake quality improvement initiatives to improve CLAS and to reduce disparities in care. Walks people through four steps of a quality improvement process: assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Produced by National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in collaboration with Lilly USA.