Welcome to our “Basic Breakdown” series where we share all our insider knowledge on the types of language services and solutions possible for a variety of industries. Our goal is to help alleviate confusion between the many options offered by LSC’s to help arm you with the knowledge YOU need to make the best decisions for your organization.
You may be wondering:
We're here to answer with a resounding YES.
If you're reading this, you must be preparing to implement a language access policy at your hospital or health system.
We at iTi have been serving hospital and health systems across the Northeast and the nation for over 30 years. From family practices to eye doctors to mental health hospitals to multi-state healthcare systems, we've seen, done, and heard it all!
We decided to make a list of the most frequently asked questions we hear from receptionists, nurses, doctors, patient relations departments, and hospital executives.
It’s well-known that hospitals and healthcare systems must provide interpreting and translation services to patients free of charge to stay in compliance with the federal government, not to mention it's just the right thing to do.
You're vacationing with your family in a foreign country. You assume many people speak English but truth is, it's a little tough to get by.
One afternoon your child falls and injures themselves - they need medical attention. Wouldn't you want to be able to effectively communicate with the doctors? How much panic would you feel not being able to communicate?
This post was originally published on July 23, 2015 and has been updated for freshness and clarity.
Professional medical interpreters are a necessity for working with and overcoming linguistic barriers in patient relations. Unfortunately, since most healthcare organizations provide either services that are inadequate, or no interpreter services at all, patients who are limited English-proficient (LEP) often do not receive quality health care.
With the inception of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 and the constant pressure on healthcare providers to improve quality while decreasing costs, it is now more important than ever to provide equal care to all patients no matter their race, religion, or national origin. Language access is a hot topic in the healthcare industry, since it is has been proven that the use of professional interpreters for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals lowers hospital readmission rates. Lower readmission rates, along with higher quality services for LEP patients, increase HCHAPS
The number of non-English speakers in the United States is continuing to rise. According to the 2011 Census, over 60 million US residents speak a language other than English at home, and have limited or no proficiency in English. Couple this fact with increased pressure from the Federal Government on healthcare providers to provide equal care to limited English speakers, and it’s obvious that language barriers are a major issue affecting hospitals across the nation.
The cultural fabric of the United States is changing more rapidly than ever before. As the make-up of the American population continues to change, so do the methods healthcare providers use to raise the bar when it comes to serving patients. If you are reading this article, you are probably aware of the importance of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, or HCAHPS, and its impact.
A research study done at two Massachusetts pediatric emergency rooms found that when Spanish-speaking families have access to a professional interpreter, critical errors like wrong medication doses decrease significantly. But mistakes are twice as likely to happen if the interpreter is a family member, bilingual hospital staff member or other non-professional.