The Kaiser Permanente Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment Initiative: research and development in patient-provider language concordance

Am J Public Health. 2011 Feb;101(2):205-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.177055.


Patient-clinician language concordance is a critical component of the language access equation and is considered the gold standard for communication. As a result of lack of validated testing standards, measures, and tools, Kaiser Permanente developed the Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment Initiative to ensure verifiable linguistic proficiency in clinical encounters and has established a standard level whereby the clinician is deemed to have a qualifying level of proficiency in communicating directly with patients independent of an interpreter. Our benchmarking efforts in language concordance have been rooted with the key aim to identify talented bilingual and bicultural clinician workforce and to establish the systems foundation to coordinate appropriate language services. We share accomplishments, lessons learned, and promising practices to inform future efforts in language concordance.

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cultural Competency
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Program Development*
  • Public Health Practice
  • Research*
  • Translating