Florida hospital embraces multiculturalism

A hospital in Florida is embracing multiculturalism in health care by developing culturally diverse patient services.

The Orlando Health Institute in Florida has developed a “cultural tool-kit” for staff to help them deliver appropriate care to patients of different cultural backgrounds. Florida’s population is increasingly diverse, with the third largest number of non-English speaking residents, according to the Census. In Central Florida, Spanish is the most spoken language after English, with Vietnamese, Creole and Portuguese following it.

In African American families, elders provide information and advice.

Muslim Arabs prefer dying patients be faced east towards Mecca, their holy city.

Among Haitians, weight loss is seen as a sign of illness.

In 2009, Florida Hospital came up with its “Guide to Religion and Culture,” which was given to all hospital employees “to enhance the delivery of pre-eminent care to our diverse patient community.” (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

This makes good sense for both cultural and business reasons – perhaps the example set by the hospital will catch on across the country.