Quality problem or issue: In the context of medical tourism, cultural differences and language barriers are unneglectable factors, which compromise the shared decision-making between doctor and patients. Initial assessment: This study constructs a cultural sensitivity cultivation (CSC) model that could be used to train medical professionals in the sector of medical tourism. Choice of solution: Since 2016, there have been explorations in new strategies to offer better services. A critical step added is to include clients' perspectives in the re-examining process as a way to cultivate cultural sensitivity among the service providers. This practice expands to the sector of medical tourism. In our case study, we are able to conclude a new model that could yield quality international healthcare services. Implementation: The steps of our CSC model include (i) 'Promote Awareness' for shifting mindset, (ii) 'Share Scenarios' for developing empathy and compassion, (iii) 'Review Process' for collecting detail feedback, (iv) 'Identify Gaps' for targeting areas for improvement and (v) 'Improve Systems,' for changing standard operation procedures (SOPs) based on the strategies through Assmann's theory with a cultural-anthropological approach. Evaluation: After Kuang Tien General Hospital (KTGH) implemented the new model for 1 year, the number of international patients has increased by 64%. More research could be done in the future to cover all the important aspects of providing international medical services and could apply the CSC model to different healthcare settings. Lessons learned: To optimize the shared decision-making between the doctor and medical traveler patients, healthcare providers should not only overcome language and cultural barriers but also should avoid unnecessary gestures in terms of status respect. Inviting patients to be co-investigator for quality improvement is a viable solution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health