Providing health care that is respectful and responsive to diverse patient populations is essential. The more health care providers know about the social, cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds of our patients, the better we can care for them. With diversity as a pillar in our 2014-2016 Strategic Plan, we aim to create an environment of inclusion where individual differences are respected and all feel welcome. Toward that end, today UI Health Care launches CultureVision™, a web-based tool that allows instant access to information about more than 50 ethnic and cultural groups across 12 clinical and non-clinical areas. The tool is accessible to faculty and staff through Epic Web Links, on The Point, The Loop, and via an icon on clinical workstations.

A project team, led by Sherree Wilson, PhD, Associate Dean, and Denise Martinez, MD, Assistant Dean, Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives; Lou Ann Montgomery, PhD, RN-BC, Director, Nursing Administration; and Project Manager Matt Miller, Health Care Information Systems Project Management Office, has been planning the implementation of CultureVision for several months, demonstrating the database to various groups and inviting feedback. Last week more than 100 of your colleagues participated in CultureVision Ambassador training so they can serve as educational resources to other staff members.

CultureVision was specifically designed to be used by staff members working with patients across all care and administrative settings—providing a wealth of information about ethnic, religious, and other groups, including many factors that could affect health status and health practices. It is important to note that CultureVision is meant to be used to explore how culture may have affected patients—but not to make assumptions about them, as this can lead to stereotyping.

We encourage you to take a moment—right now if you can—to visit the CultureVision home page and explore how this tool can help us provide the best clinical, compassionate, and respectful care for all patients and family members.

If you have questions about CultureVision, please contact Denise Martinez.