Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Competency

Medical care systems globally aim at providing high-quality care. Quality healthcare is attained primarily through patient-centered and culturally competent care. Patient-centered care aims at promoting an increased focus on patients’ needs and concerns, as reflected in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (2003) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) (2018). IOM stipulated that improving the delivery of patient-centered care is vital to achieving high-quality healthcare. Both IOM and the National academies agree that patient care is paramount to delivering high-quality care. Aligning healthcare processes to patients’ needs and values are essential to achieving high-quality healthcare globally. Both IOM (2003) and the National academies (2018) also agree that effective communication is critical in delivering patient-centered care. The communication between patients and providers should be clear to enhance patient satisfaction and promote improved health outcomes.

While IOM focuses only on patients in delivering patient-centered care, the National academies emphasize both patients and care providers. IOM (2003) stipulates that patient-centered care should align with patients’ values, preferences and needs. Care providers should listen actively, communicate with and inform clearly, and educate patients.   IOM also recommends that patient-centered care can be achieved through collaboration, cooperation, and adequate communication among care providers (Knebel and Greiner, 2003). Nurses, physicians, primary care providers, and all other care providers should work as a team to provide patients with continuous and reliable care. Evidence-based practices are also integral to patient-centered care. Healthcare systems should adapt the best research and clinical expertise to patient values to ensure high-quality care. Another recommendation related to patient-centered care is quality improvement. The Healthcare system should apply quality improvement standards to detect medical errors and vulnerabilities and implement basic safety measures to enhance patient safety (Knebel and Greiner, 2003). Unreliable standardization processes, structures, and poor health outcomes should be improved to improve patient care quality. It is also essential for healthcare systems to adopt information technology to communicate health information, improve patient knowledge, reduce medical errors, and enhance decision-making.

On the contrary, the National Academies proposes a systems approach to improve the delivery of patient-centered care. Healthcare support systems such as information, finance, training, and contracting need to be harmonized to enhance the quality of care. Patient-centered care can be achieved by adopting sociotechnical systems to improve patients’ and providers’ satisfaction (NASEM, 2018). Healthcare systems should provide patients with high-quality health care, optimize patients’ experience, create a favorable work environment for care providers, and reduce waste for all stakeholders involved. The National academies also suggest that the structure and design of healthcare systems should enhance access to quality healthcare for patients while creating a favorable environment for care providers. These systems acknowledge patients’ self-determination and preferences while supporting care providers’ well-being and creating safe and favorable terms and conditions of employment. Healthcare systems need to adopt digital technologies to improve the quality of patient care. Patient-centered care can also be achieved by integrating societal values in care delivery. The healthcare structure should be structured and organized around patients’ needs to enhance access to care.


The associate nursing degree program equips nurses with cultural competency skills to demonstrate cultural awareness of patients’ values, beliefs and incorporate these values in the delivery of patient care. Cultural competence prepares nurses to focus more on patients’ needs, empathize, and interact clearly with patients (Anton-Solanas et al., 2021). The recommendations made by IOM and the National Academies can be used in providing culturally competent patient-centered care by embracing the diversity of patients’ values and the range of worldviews they possess.


Antón-Solanas, I., Huércanos-Esparza, I., Hamam-Alcober, N., Vanceulebroeck, V., Dehaes, S., Kalkan, I., … & Tambo-Lizalde, E. (2021). Nursing lecturers’ perception and experience of teaching cultural competence: a european qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(3), 1357.

Committee on Improving the Quality of Health Care Globally, Board on Global Health, Board on Health Care Services, Health and Medicine Division, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). Crossing the Global Quality Chasm: Improving Health Care Worldwide. Knebel, E., & Greiner, A. C. (Eds.). (