The Importance Of Intercultural Communication

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Intercultural communication occurs when culturally diverse people interact with each other, and providing quality care to everyone is the reason many individuals enter the health care profession - to make life better for others. Intercultural communication is a barrier that the health care industry is facing as a whole, and our society must work to uncover biases and cultural blind spots, improve and be prepared to lead in a diverse environment. In February, 2013, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, noted the “overall health of the American population has improved over the past few decades, but not all Americans have benefitted equally from these improvements. Minority populations, in particular, continue to lag behind whites in a number of areas, including quality of care, access to care, timeliness and outcomes. Other health-care problems that disproportionately affect minorities include provider biases, poor provider-patient communication and health literacy issues”. Awareness of diverse cultures and subcultures, and management of barriers to intercultural communications would improve the sharing of good practices and innovation spread within the healthcare industry. The Pacific Northwest serves a large Native American community representing approximately 127 North American tribes, with various resources including a patient centered care clinic. This clinic offers the following services: primary care, behavioral health, full service pharmacy,

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