Standard 14: Information for the Public (recommendation)
“Health care organizations are encouraged to regularly make available to the public information about their progress and successful innovations in implementing the CLAS standards and to provide public notice in their communities about the availability of this information.”
Intent of the Standard
Making information available to the public about a healthcare organization’s efforts to implement the CLAS standards can serve a variety of purposes:
- To communicate to the communities and patients it serves about its efforts and accomplishments in meeting the CLAS standards
- To help institutionalize the CLAS standards by regularly focusing on the extent to which it has implemented each standard
- To serve as a mechanism by which healthcare organizations can learn from each other about new ideas and successful approaches to implementing CLAS
Approaches to Reporting to the Public
Standard 14 allows healthcare organizations considerable latitude in both the information they make available and the ways they report them. For example, organizations can describe specific organizational changes or new programs that they have instituted in response to the standards, new CLAS-related interventions or initiatives, and accomplishments toward meeting the needs of diverse populations.
Organizations that wish to provide more in-depth information can report on the data collected about the populations and communities served in accordance with Standard 11 and the self-assessment results gathered from Standard 9. However, because standard self-assessment tools and performance measurements have not yet been validated, organizations should refrain from reporting such scores. As such instruments and measures are developed and validated, organizations may wish to consider making the information gathered by these tools available to the public.
Healthcare organizations can use a variety of vehicles to communicate information about their progress in implementing the CLAS standards, including publishing stand-alone documents focused on cultural and linguistic competence or including a CLAS-related section in whatever organizational reports and documents the organization already publishes, such as:
- Its annual report
- Member publications
- Newsletters targeting the communities the organization serves
- Presentations at conferences
- Newspaper articles
- Television, radio, and other broadcast media
- Posting the information on the organization’s website
Focus on Accountability
Whichever approach an organization chooses to take to make information available to the public, it should do so on a continuous basis and with the intention of providing meaningful information that will allow members of the public to understand that the organization is engaged in efforts to be responsive to the genuine needs of the communities that it serves and accountable for the programs and activities that it has undertaken.