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Kaiser Permanente Recognized by NCQA for Innovative Program to Reduce Health Care Disparities
Date:11/16/2007

Award Highlights Efforts to Bridge Language and Cultural Gaps

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente has received the "Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Award" from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its efforts to provide health plan members across t`he country with culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services.

"Kaiser Permanente has created an innovative program that health plans nationwide should use as a model for bridging language and cultural gaps that so easily get in the way of quality health care," said Margaret E. O'Kane, president of NCQA.

Kaiser Permanente serves over 8.7 million members who represent over 120 different languages. The health plan provides translated materials that are critical to providing quality and equitable health care for patients who have limited English proficiency.

With its National Standardized Quality Translation Initiative, Kaiser Permanente is addressing the dearth of translated materials in health care, as well as the need to verify the quality of translations. The health plan's national initiative strives to improve both access to and quality of translated materials; underscoring Kaiser Permanente's commitment to the provision of quality and equitable health care as well as culturally and linguistically competent care.

The health plan's accomplishments in this area include the creation of the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Glossary with over 3,000 terms translated in Spanish, including approximately 1,000 terms commonly used in health care system. The Health Care Glossary is currently available in seven languages; English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Armenian, and Russian. The Health Care Glossary led to the refinement of Kaiser Permanente's previously existing Trilingual Reference Manuals, which now have been disseminated to all Kaiser Permanente Regions as well as partnering institution
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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