Support System for Organizational Cultural Competency Assessment and Improvement

Period of Performance: 07/25/2017 - 02/28/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Assn for the Study &deve of Community
Principal Investigator


PROJECT SUMMARY Persistent, pervasive healthcare disparities disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority communities. Training health professionals to work effectively with people from different cultures; organizational policies, procedures, and practices that address the needs of racial, ethnic, and other underserved populations; and establishing relationships between health organizations and other organizations serving the same populations are critical to equitable care. Culturally competent healthcare can significantly increase the equity of care for racial and ethnic minorities to ultimately reduce health disparities. The goal of proposed Phase II research and development effort is to complete the design and production of JourneyStart, a research-based, computer- assisted cultural competency assessment and action planning toolkit to increase the capacity of small- to medium-sized health organizations to better meet the needs of racial and ethnic minorities. Specifically, the proposed effort will: (1) refine the data functions of JourneyStart; (2) design the technical assistance functions of JourneyStart; and (3) assess the implementation and utility of JourneyStart based on feedback from a sample of small- to mid-sized health organizations that work at the community level. Approximately 15 health organizations will be recruited to test the entire spectrum of services available from JourneyStart, from assessment to action planning, and the interface with the system. Staff from the organizations will participate in an evaluation to discuss the components and utility of system, including (a) ease of the interface and use, (b) limitations, and (c) recommendations for packaging the services. To develop JourneyStart?s benchmarking capability, clusters of organizations will be established based on analysis of the organizations? size, demographics of the people they serve, and geographic location,. The aims of the proposed research align both with the mission of the National Institutes of Health to apply knowledge to enhance health and life and its goal to foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and research applications for protecting and improving health. Furthermore, the proposed product will advance the mission of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to promote minority health and support efforts that reduce health disparities, along with the commitment of NIMHD to support interventions and translational research that address cultural competency and social determinants of health.