Cultural Responsiveness + Quality Improvements
“The systemic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide.”
~ Professor David Napier, University College London, The Lancet Journal
Cultural Responsiveness + Quality Improvement
Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards
CLAS Standards are a set of 15 action steps intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities. CLAS are respectful of and responsive to each person’s culture and communication needs.
Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) Model
The NIATx model uses powerful evidence-based change management tools, principles, and products to help organizations transform their processes and systems of care.
NIATx CLAS Assessment Tool
NCAT is used to develop an environmental and operational baseline for your organization or community system. View a sample NCAT summary of findings report.
NIATx CLAS Implementation Process
NCIP is a two-part process to support the planning and implementation of your NIATx CLAS change projects.
NIATx CLAS Improvement Sustainability (NCIS)
NCIS is about sustaining quality improvements and cultural responsiveness to ensure maximum return on investment.
Governance, Leadership & Workforce
- Train staff in CLAS
- Recruit a workforce representative of community served
- Create and support a designated CLAS position
Communication & Language Assistance
- Offer comprehensive language assistance services
- Require interpreters' skills to be certified and/or assessed
- Use advanced technology interpretation services
Engagement, Continuous Improvement & Accountability
- Improve collection of race, ethnicity, and language data
- Conduct organizational assessments
- Incorporate CLAS into mission, vision, and strategic plans
Case Profile: CLAS Implementation Process
Main Street Clinics recently conducted the NIATx CLAS Assessment to improve this aspect of their operations. In addition to the assessment findings, Main Street identified two organizational concerns—declining admissions and staff recruiting and retention—to address by improving their CLAS competencies.Working with a newly formed CLAS Improvement Committee, NIATx provided an improvement framework and established two teams. The Admissions Team identified key cultural groups in the area (i.e., Spanish-speaking, African American, farmers) and conducted walk-throughs of the admissions process with these groups to identify and resikve issues. The Recruitment and Retention Team conducted focus groups with employees and community members. Outcomes included forming a team to streamline hiring, using professional associations representing different cultures, improving employee onboarding, and making employee benefit/compensation changes.
Admissions increased at the Main Street Clinics over the next six months by 12%. A significant part of that increase was attributed to the targeted cultural groups the Admissions Team worked with in designing these changes. Position posting-to-fill times went from 84 days to 38 days. Employee turnover slightly decreased by 3%, with most improvement occurring from reducing turnover in the first 30 days. The CLAS improvements have created better linkages with the community, vastly improved language services, and reduced the Board’s concerns with admissions.
The case profile is based on a conglomeration of different CLAS-related projects that the NIATx Foundation has participated in to illustrate how the NIATx CLAS Implementation Process can operate to create organization and community improvements. Download the full case study profile.