A four-part introduction to culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS)
To promote health equity, Comagine Health is providing a series of articles to help you and your organization become more familiar with the National CLAS Standards. The purpose of this series is to provide you with training resources for implementing CLAS standards, tools to develop a CLAS implementation plan and resources to update beneficiary-engagement products that will ensure that CLAS considerations are included to advance health equity.
Part 4: CLAS Overview and Additional Resources
Are you ready to start implementing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards so all patients can receive high quality-care to improve their health outcomes and attain their full health potential? Even if you are already familiar with CLAS, we have included a few resources that may be helpful to the delivery of CLAS Standards.
Tools to Implement CLAS
- The CLAS Toolkit provides a practical guide to implementing the National CLAS Standards. This toolkit provides targeted interventions that can be adapted to any health care setting to advance health equity. This may be used as a guide to implement CLAS standards, and it provides examples on integrating CLAS into health care settings.
- Develop a CLAS Implementation Action Plan using the HHS CLAS Checklist (pages 4-8).
CLAS Training Resources
- The Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit helps hospitals re-design discharge processes to reduce readmissions and post-hospital emergency department visits. For hospitals that serve diverse populations, delivering CLAS is addressed through the RED Toolkit, and is the focus of Tool 4: How To Deliver the Re-Engineered Discharge to Diverse Populations.
- The AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd edition and companion implementation guide aim to reduce the complexity of health care, increase patient understanding of health information and enhance support for all patients, no matter their health literacy level.
- ○ Two tools specifically address CLAS: Address Language Differences (Tool No. 9) and Consider Culture, Customs and Beliefs (Tool No. 10).
- The SHARE Approach supports the training of health care professionals on how to engage patients in their own health care decision-making.
- ○ Taking Steps Toward Cultural Competence provides guidance for how to consider cultural differences and build relationships with patients using the SHARE Approach.
- The Team STEPPS® Limited English Proficiency Module includes information on how to work with interpreters as a team.
- ○ The publication Improving Patient Safety Systems for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: A Guide for Hospitals focuses on how hospitals can better identify, report, monitor and prevent medical errors in patients with limited English proficiency. This guide also includes how to implement the Team STEPPS® Limited English Proficiency Module.
- Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Maternal Health Care
- The Guide to Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Services
- Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals
- A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care
- Culturally Competent Nursing Care: A Cornerstone of Caring
- Webinar: Fundamentals of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care
These resources will help you to advance health equity, improve care quality and help eliminate disparities. We hope you found this article series to serve as a blueprint to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Please fill out this post-survey to provide feedback to this series. This survey will also be used as we understand how these standards may be applied in your practice. We will use the information gleaned from the survey questions to shape our activities to support providers in implementing National CLAS Standards, and in other efforts to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity.