QuantiaMD Physicians Address Communication Failures that Hinder Care of Multicultural Patients

Mobile and Online Initiative Finds Over 1/3 of Physicians Rarely or Never Ask Patients About Their Spiritual Beliefs or Use of Complimentary or Alternative Medicine

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Over 17,200 clinicians have participated in a mobile and online initiative on QuantiaMD to address the key communication lapses that affect quality of care for multicultural patients and the need for better institutional support. QuantiaMD, the largest mobile and online physician community, has brought together several organizations, including the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), to jointly support physicians in caring for their multi-cultural patients. QuantiaMD has gathered insightful data on the gaps that currently exist, such as:

  • 39% of physicians rarely or never ask patients about their spiritual beliefs
  • 37% of physicians rarely or never ask patients about their use of complimentary or alternative medicine
  • 48% of physicians say one-quarter to one-half of their patients do not trust the U.S. healthcare system

Participating physicians cited several factors contributing to communication gaps on topics such as alternative medicine and religious beliefs. These factors include time constraints, lack of inclusion in assessment/screening tools and tick-box/menu-driven patient interactions, and a concern that conversations about these topics could become the focal point of a time-limited interaction. QuantiaMD has partnered with several organizations, including NHMA, to provide physicians with the education and resources to help them overcome these multicultural communication barriers. Please view QuantiaMD’s educational initiative, Overcoming Cultural and Language Barriers to Care, at http://www.quantiamd.com/home/culturallanguagebarriers.

“QuantiaMD’s findings highlight quality-of-care and communications issues that our organization has been working for years to address,” said Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H., President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association, President, National Hispanic Health Foundation. “Every Physician needs the appropriate knowledge and tools to address culturally-related beliefs and behaviors, such as traditional diets or use of alternative medicine, when treating their multicultural patients. This fact is highlighted by the 2010 US Census, which showed that minorities compose more than one-third of the U.S. population and have represented between 81% and 89% of the population growth since 2000.”

QuantiaMD conceived of this initiative to improve clinicians' relationships with their multilingual and multicultural patients in response to a previous language and culture study by QuantiaMD’s Doctor-Patient Relationship Special Interest Group (SIG). The study found that over half of the respondents believed that language and cultural barriers were a significant issues to providing efficient, high-quality patient care. The QuantiaMD SIG has now become a destination for engaged clinicians, offering educational modules, multicultural resources, discussions and advice from experts. The SIG is home to comprehensive interactive educational segments on topics such as tying quality to cultural competency, building trust and improving adherence, and addressing spirituality, diet and alternative medicine.

“The fact that more than 17,000 physicians have participated in this program in a span of less than 8 weeks suggests they see bridging the gap between quality, language and culture as a major priority,” said Michael Paskavitz, Editor in Chief of QuantiaMD. “Short of requiring physicians to learn half a dozen new languages, this is a clear challenge to the systems and organizations that support physicians. They need to be outfitted with tools and resources they don’t currently have to address this issue, which is becoming an elephant in the room in conversations about quality and safety in healthcare.”

About The Doctor-Patient Relationship Special Interest Group

Doctor-Patient Relationship is a Special Interest Group (SIG) on QuantiaMD that is dedicated to helping physicians improve care and service through strong relationships with their patients. SIG members work together to achieve this goal through expert education, sharing resources, and discussing and supporting each other. This SIG is one of many that QuantiaMD members can join to learn, respond and connect with colleagues across the country who share the same passions. Please view the SIG at http://www.quantiamd.com/home/sig_doctorpatientrelationship.

About QuantiaMD

As the largest mobile and online physician community, QuantiaMD exists to help physicians reshape medical practice for modern times. QuantiaMD members share expert thinking, test their understanding, and stay ahead of rapid scientific advances. More than 125,000 members access QuantiaMD for free through any smartphone, tablet or computer. QuantiaMD® is a registered trademark of Quantia Communications, Inc, a privately held corporation headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. All other product names and references contained herein remain the service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. For more information, visit http://www.quantiamd.com.

About The National Hispanic Medical Association

The National Hispanic Medical Association is a nonprofit association representing Hispanic physicians. The NHMA mission is to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved. For more information go to www.nhmamd.org.

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Ross Homer, 1-617-219-6164
Communications Manager
[email protected]

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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Internet  Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Mobile/Wireless