There are numerous ways to enhance the clinical care provided to indigenous people if I were to serve as the provincial minister of health.
There are numerous ways to enhance the clinical care provided to indigenous people if I were to serve as the provincial minister of health. And here in Canada, there is a rising commitment to enhance Indigenous peoples’ health through fostering connections based on respect and mutual understanding at all levels, including the healthcare system. It is now possible to support efforts in this direction through standards and best practices.
In fulfillment of Huston (2017) in order to deal with health-related social factors in clinical care, a number of best practices have been created. These practices promote respectful therapy relationships and identify larger activities to improve the environment’s ability to support health. Guidelines and policy statements are now available to assist front-line physicians in providing Indigenous patients with better care by fostering intercultural awareness, encouraging self-reflection, and implementing culturally safe care.
At the patient care level
Treat patients with dignity and respect and create a safe space for disclosure
Ask patients about social challenges in a caring way
Allocate extra time for complex health and social needs
Know about local referral resources
Refer and help patients access benefits and support services
At the clinic or nursing station level
Add chart reminders or recall systems for patients at risk
Engage other clinicians in your practice to create a culture of reflection and a more “upstream” approach
Consider alternative models of care such as outreach, or using patient navigators to assist patients on their journey in the health and social systems
At the community level
Reach out to local leaders to discuss the health and social challenges that are common in the community
Use clinical experience and research evidence to advocate for social change
Engage in community needs assessment and health planning
Partner with community groups, public health, and local leaders to advance collaborative initiatives that address or attenuate the effects of health inequities
The journal’s major takeaway is that socioeconomic determinants of health should be considered holistically in all research and intervention methods. Not only must we take into account the intricate web of socioeconomic factors, but also the interactions that take place throughout the course of a person’s life and across generations.
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