Throughout the spring semester, students Manual Coutinho and Federico Adame have been on a mission to promote culturally competent care. As a clinic, one of Mercy’s core values is to “value each person.” To Federico and Manual this meant taking the time to listen to patients, especially those who do not speak English. Their project gave patients a voice, allowing them to help Mercy’s leadership prioritize services for improvement and participate in creating an agenda for the clinic’s upcoming season of strategic planning. Following is an abstract of their work.
Purpose: Mercy strives to provide quality healthcare to those in the community who are underserved. In an effort to provide the best quality of care possible, the needs of Mercy’s patients need to be assessed. As a result, a survey was conducted to determine patient’s top concerns.
Methodology: Data was collected using a combination of phone and face-to-face interviews. There were also two group discussions formed. The discussion for English speaking patients was unattended while five patients were present at the Spanish discussion. Throughout the whole process, whenever a patient was asked to complete a survey, patients were reassured of the confidentiality of their remarks and told that their identity would not be linked to the responses provided.
Results: There were a total of 49 surveys conducted. Of the total number of surveys, 34.7% were completed by men and 65.3% were completed by women. 22.4% of surveys were completed by Caucasian patients, 24.5% by African American patients, and 53.1% by Hispanic patients. From the survey, it was determined that the number one concern for patients was decreasing the wait time for medication refills. 24 of the 49 patients who completed the survey, or 49%, marked this choice as their top concern. Selected as the second concern, was the desire to increase the number of dental appointments. 18% of patients surveyed noted so. Lastly, reducing the wait time for specialty clinics was noted as the third most important concern. 14% of patients marked this option on their survey. On a final note, only 1 patient out of the 49 surveyed didn’t agree that Mercy provides culturally competent care. The patient was of Hispanic ethnicity and felt like she had a longer waiting time than others even if the other patients came in after her. She thinks that since she is Hispanic, there may be a bit of hesitation to see her due to a possible language barrier. Aside from this patient, 96% of patients surveyed agreed that Mercy provides culturally competent care and one patient left the question blank.