**This will take only about 2-5 minutes of your time!**
The federal government has a set of guidelines for healthcare organizations called the CLAS standards (Cultural & Linguistically Appropriate Services). Some of them are required of all federal funds recipients, others are strongly suggested.
Luckily, right now they are taking feedback on how to make these standards better, both online and through a series of live meetings. Now, you may think your voice is small but I’m here to say, each public comment counts! And better yet, lots of public comments on a subject count quite a lot. So, please please, take a few minutes to look at the standards and chime in to say what you think could be better.
Page where you can submit feedback or sign up for a local meeting is here.
Possible ideas for enhancements you could put out there:
- Make all standards mandatory for federally funded healthcare agencies, not just the ones related to language.
- Standard 1 – add language in brackets Health care organizations should ensure that patients/consumers receive from all staff member’s effective, understandable, and respectful care that is provided in a manner compatible with their cultural health beliefs and practices, [preferred gender identity,] and preferred language.
- Standard 10 – add language in brackets Health care organizations should ensure that data on the individual patient’s/consumer’s race, ethnicity, [sexual orientation, gender identity,] and spoken and written language are collected in health records, integrated into the organization’s management information systems, and periodically updated.
(Re-posted from website news article on October 5th.)