Social Diversity in Health Care
Social diversity in healthcare is defined as the ability to understand a patient’s mindset based on their culture, religious beliefs, age, sexual orientation, gender, and social, economic realities. As migration continues to grow among nations, many opportunities and challenges for health care systems, health care providers, and policymakers have been created. Health care has been regarded as a homogenous field that serves a diverse population (Seeleman et al., 2015). The quality of healthcare delivery is greatly affected when a homogeneous workforce is tasked or mandated to ensure a diverse array of people is taken care of. According to research, the foreign-born population in the United States has increased the country’s population, with more than sixty million people. This population surge results in an increase in disparities in health care due to different population segments. This paper identifies various issues in healthcare caused by diversity differences and the active measures that can be used to solve these issues.
Issues of diversity differences in health-care
Diversity in health comes with different issues, which usually creates barriers to health care delivery among different segments of the population. These issues lead to reduced access to health care among these people. Communication and language barrier is one of the issues related to diversity differences in healthcare (Seeleman et al., 2015). Research shows that a considerable percentage of the foreign-born population in the US speaks English as their second language, while others barely speak English proficiently. Communication failures between the caregivers and their patients contribute to medical errors as well as other adverse effects in health care (Braveman, 2014). The quality and the amount of health care received is greatly affected. Patient dissatisfactions, as well as poor comprehension and adherence, are effects of communication barriers. For instance, Spanish speaking Latinos are more likely to be less satisfied with the care they receive compared to English speakers.
The second issue is the low literacy levels. Health literacy, according to the department of health and Human Services, is regarded as the level by which an individual can understand the necessary information related to health. Inadequate health literacy may reduce an individual capacity to understand and take responsibility for their health. Due to an increase in migration growth in the United States, there is an increase in the number of people who do not have the necessary literacy skills (Braveman, 2014). Ethnic and racial minorities are more likely to have lower levels of literacy due to different educational backgrounds. Lower literacy levels may lead to problems like the inability to understand the instruction on prescription models, among other effects. Also, low literacy individuals require more services, increasing the cost of care. Finally, a lack of cultural competency in healthcare is also a significant issue. Cultural competence in health care is the ability to provide give care to patients with different adverse beliefs, values, and behaviors (Shepherd et al., 2019). This includes delivering healthcare that meets the patient’s cultural needs. Patients are usually a high risk of getting negative health results, dissatisfied, and receiving poor quality care if the care providers and the systems are not working together towards the provision of culturally competent care.
Approach to a practical solution
Addressing the issues which lead, which leads to disparities in healthcare, is significant in improving health and, most importantly, achieving more improvements in the overall quality care as well the population health. There is a need for health care organizations to be responsive enough to deal with the needs of the increasingly diverse population (Seeleman et al., 2015). Approaches that mainly focuses on ethnic diversity should be highly considered as they recommend to handle language as well as cultural differences. One of the effective approaches is the increase in the number of physicians among the minority groups, which will lead to the diversity of the US population through its advocacy work and policies. Also, the government should come up with foundations to help the physicians manage low literacy levels as well as professional interpreters among interpreters through government health grants (Seeleman et al., 2015). Another measure involves a recognition that individuals from different population backgrounds have different ways of communication. This is crucial during the exchange of information related to health or during any medical talk. In conclusion, the application of these measures will make healthcare work effective between patients and colleagues of different backgrounds.
Seeleman, C., Essink-Bot, M. L., Stronks, K., & Ingleby, D. (2015). How should health service
Organizations respond to diversity? A content analysis of six approaches. BMC health services research, 15(1), 510. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-015-1159-7
Braveman, P. (2014). What are health disparities and health equity? We need to be clear. Public
Health reports, 129(1_suppl2), 5-8. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/00333549141291S203
Shepherd, S. M., Willis-Esqueda, C., Newton, D., Sivasubramaniam, D., & Paradies, Y. (2019).
The challenge of cultural competence in the workplace: perspectives of healthcare providers. BMC health services research, 19(1), 135. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-019-3959-7
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