Web site offers tools for culturally diverse care


Are you looking for resources to improve care of culturally diverse populations? If so, The Manager’s Electronic Resource Center web site developed by Management Sciences Health, a nonprofit public health education organization based in Boston, may be of help. The site’s primary goal is to help health care providers working in developing countries to improve care, but ED nurses will also find "a wealth of useful information" on the site, says James Wolff, MD, FACEP, an attending physician for the department of emergency medicine at Concord, MA-based Emerson Hospital and one of the site’s developers.

Here are some of the areas the site provides resources for:

Caring for culturally diverse groups.

The site features a "Guide to Quality and Culture," developed in collaboration with the Washington, DC-based Bureau of Primary Health Care. "This features practical information that ED nurses can use to anticipate the needs and expectations of patients from different cultural groups," says Wolff. You quickly can test your knowledge about caring for diverse populations by taking the 21-question quiz. The quiz tests your knowledge about caring for various cultural groups and directs you to links for additional information about such topics as working with an interpreter and common health problems in selected minority, ethnic, and cultural groups.

Meeting guidelines from translation in the ED.

You can use the "Providers Guide to Quality and Culture" to improve the way you handle translation in your ED, says Wolff. The guide also includes links to other sites with more information about policies, guidelines, and operational issues for translation. This can help you set up a program to comply with the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, adds Wolff. He points to the Aug. 30, 2000, Office for Civil Rights Policy Guidance (www.hhs.gov/ocr/lep/guide.html), which says that the use of family members and friends as interpreters is not adequate. The guide also gives tips for effective communication with African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Using improved management tools.

The site features a "Health Manager’s Toolkit," an assortment of electronic management tools developed by various agencies around the world. "ED nurses will find the large number of tools available very useful for departmental assessments, developing policies, or training nursing and ancillary staff," says Wolff. The tools include a Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set, Integrated Health Facility Assessment Manual, Inventory Management Assessment Tool, Quality Assurance Manual, and a Performance Improvement Review Package.

Determining the price of medications. Use the International Drug Price Indicator Guide to find out the cost of various medications used in the ED, says Wolff. "It contains updated prices for essential drugs from many different suppliers," he adds.

Developing of quality improvement programs. The site’s Guide to Managing for Quality can help you to develop an effective quality improvement program, says Wolff. "It contains case scenarios, quality improvement tools with instructions, and guidelines for setting up a quality improvement team in your ED," he explains.

Planning events.

The site includes information in planning an event, managing group dynamics during an event, and monitoring progress toward achieving the desired outcomes of an event.

Reducing delays in the ED.

The site contains tips for reducing waiting times in the ED, including an article on this topic from the "Manager," a continuing management education publication. "You can use the checklist for reducing client waiting times as a way to start talking about waiting time issues with ED staff," suggests Wolff.