The National CLAS Standards are intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by establishing a blueprint for health and health care organizations.
CLAS is a way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. CLAS is about respect and responsiveness: Respect the whole individual and Respond to the individual’s health needs and preferences.
The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (The National CLAS Standards)
The National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards (CLAS) are intended to advance health equity, improve quality and help eliminate health care disparities by establishing a blueprint individuals as well as health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. The enhanced Standards are a comprehensive series of guidelines that inform, guide and facilitate practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services.
Introduction Video :The National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) – Video
Learn more about implementing The National CLAS Standards within your organization to help advance and sustain culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Services Information:
New CLAS Report and Toolkit from OMH
OMH developed a framework and toolkit to guide health care organizations’ efforts in evaluating their implementation of the National CLAS Standards. The full report can be accessed below along with the toolkit which distills the elements of the framework and can help guide evaluations across four settings (ambulatory care, behavioral health, hospitals, and public health).
Cultural Competence and Cultural Humility
Cultural competence is the ability to “provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs.” Building awareness and understanding of other cultures (their beliefs and practices) can help build cultural competence, but this is just the start. Learning about other cultures is not enough because these learnings are ultimately limited: whatever we learn is influenced by personal biases, is not definite but instead part of an ongoing and changing narrative, and can never meaningfully capture the range of others’ lived experiences.
Cultural humility is a “lifelong process to evaluate your own biases, prejudices, and culture in a way that allows you to accept and understand other people as being equal to you and deserving of respect.” Cultural humility asks that we privilege the experience of each individual, understanding that everyone has a unique story and experience that transcends culture—and what we may think we know of their culture. This means constantly reflecting on potential personal biases, treating each person as an individual rather than stereotyping them based on what we perceive as their cultural norms, and taking time to engage openly with each person and listen to their story.
Sources and resources:
Cultural Humility: Measuring openness to culturally diverse clients. Journal of Counseling Psychology Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., Owen, J., Worthington Jr., E. L., & Utsey, S. O. (2013). Cultural humility: Measuring openness to culturally diverse clients. Journal of Counseling Psychology®. doi:10.1037/a0032595
Tervalon, M., & Murray-Garcia, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Undeserved, 9,117-125.
Health Literacy Online – A Guide for Simplifying the User Experience – https://health.gov/healthliteracyonline/write/full/