Evaluation of DLNET for Usability of Health Information according to CLAS
The Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) and the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation made forty patient educational materials in English and Spanish. The handouts are available for download and can be distributed freely. The ACU and Home Diagnostics created education materials on diabetes for the low literate and the multicultural population to reduce the impact of the disease. The Diabetes Literacy and Numeracy Education Toolkit (DLNET) aided in the educating and self-management of patients suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes no matter their current medical regimen and health status.
Russell Rothman led the team that made DLNET at Vanderbilt, where it has been broken down into individual modules spreading education to each patient. Providers were advised to give the patients the modules they needed to avoid loading them with irrelevant information. In attaining behaviors needed for improved self-management, relevant information should be given to the patients. The toolkit has twenty-four chapters addressing diabetic patients, focusing more on the poor literacy and numeracy skills and the multicultural groups.
The National Standard for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care provision ensures there is equity and improvement in health services and, by doing so, finishes disparity in healthcare. The DLNET is an appropriate document that will positively impact the lives of many patients due to its quality. Its design leads to the attainment of both health beliefs and practices of different cultures (Delphin, 2021). Varying groups of patients have their preferred language incorporated, which maintains literacy in health and different needs in communication.
The document promotes and supports diverse governance culturally and linguistically, leadership, and workforce responsive to the targeted area of service groups. It has provided adequate knowledge on understanding the causes and preventive measures of diabetes, helping the patient implement the highlighted measures into practice. The language used is straightforward to be understood by those with little English proficiency, which has helped reach as many diverse diabetic groups as possible. It also offers language assistance to those having limited knowledge of the English language.
For engagement and continuous improvement, the toolkit has established cultural and linguistic goals and policies that aid in planning and day-to-day operation hence maintaining quality service to the diabetic group without discrimination or favor. The infection and recovery are monitored by the provided demographic data in the document, which also has a conflict, and resolution process appropriate both culturally and linguistically, making it meet the CLAS standard as required.
The document also has a cultural limitation that acts as a barrier in reaching a wide range of patients. Language is the first barrier where patients don’t understand the language used in the toolkit hence a challenge in providing quality care. Cultural tradition is another limitation as many cultures have different ways of perceiving healthcare and traditions against western ways of healthcare. Cultural assumptions and lack of knowledge of culture create challenges for both the caregivers and the patients.
Plan for Improving the Document
Several steps have been used to provide culturally sensitive care to improve the DLNET. Awareness has been done to those in rural areas that the medical sector desperately needs culturally sensitive healthcare. Nurses should avoid making assumptions about cultures they are unaware of to avoid breaking down the trust and rapport between nurses and patients. Instead, they should learn about other cultures and overcome language barriers by using language commonly understood and used by the patient. Caregivers should build rapport without focusing on the ethnicity or racial background of the patient. Educating patients about medical practices will create interest and culture by reading patient education materials provided by healthcare givers. This enlightens one on the procedures to be used for a given treatment and the expected results, hence breaking anxiety by the patients.
Delphin M. E., Boynton, E. S., Ortiz, J., Davidson, L., & Flanagan, E. H. (2021). The Organizational Multicultural Competence Assessment (OMCA): A tool to assess an organization’s multicultural competence and adherence to the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Healthcare (the National CLAS Standards). Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.www.ahrq.gov