I thought culturally competent care requirements weren’t effective until Nov. 28, 2019, the Phase 3 deadline. Why are facilities getting cited now?

While you are correct that aspects of culturally competent care are required in Phase 3 as part of F699 (Trauma-Informed Care) and F656 (Comprehensive Care Plans), aspects also are required in Phase 2.

Currently, surveyors will cite facilities at F552 (Right to Be Informed/Make Treatment Decisions) for not providing sufficient communication accommodations; F679 (Activities) for not accommodating cultural preferences; F838 (Facility Assessment) and F835 (Administration) for not assessing ethnic, cultural or religious factors that may affect care provided by the facility; and F725 (Sufficient Staff) for not providing enough staff to meet the resident’s unique needs.

Culturally competent care is integrated into so many areas of regulation because cultural preferences are hardwired into so much of life. Implementing the following best practices will cultivate cultural awareness in your facility.

(1) The sooner staff learn about the residents they care for, the better. Encourage staff members to promote cultural sensitivity by sharing resident preferences with each other.

(2) Care plans should include food, activity and other ethnic preferences. Not only should staff follow the care plan, they should be sensitive to the cultural elements that influence resident preferences.

(3) When a misunderstanding arises, encourage staff to practice self-reflection and problem-solving skills in order to build trust and respect with each other. Remind staff to focus on commonalities and to be sensitive to each resident’s uniqueness.

Please send your nursing-related questions to Judi Kulus at ltcnews@mcknights.com.