A “Patient-First” Standard Regardless of Culture or Language

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

In the wake of recent research suggesting that limited English proficient (LEP) patients are more negatively impacted by adverse events than fluent English speakers, healthcare professionals are in search of solutions to better address language barriers.

According to the Joint Commission, a U.S. based nonprofit that accredits more than 20,000 health care programs and organizations across the country, the leading causes of adverse events for LEP patients include:

  • A lack of meaningful communication &
  • A lack of qualified medical interpreters


Research conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicates that LEP patients who are not provided with meaningful access to care experience:

  • Greater risk for medical errors
  • Lengthier hospital stays
  • Greater difficulty following plans post discharge &
  • Higher risk of readmission


As a result, the Joint Commission, among other organizations, have exhibited a profound desire to emphasize the importance of competence in various languages and cultures.

The inclusion of a "patient-first" standard is being adopted by facilities nationwide, meaning that the welfare and safety of all patients, regardless of their culture or language, takes precedence over all other objectives.

The U.S has incurred a massive influx of non-English speaking people from a variety of cultures over the last several years. Per the AHRQ, a colossal one fifth of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English within their home. As the country continues to diversify at a rapid pace, the demand for both culturally competent healthcare professionals and qualified medical interpreters is projected to rise.

Stratus Video offers a complete language access solution that includes over-the-phone, video remote, and onsite interpretation along with an easy-to-use translation service. Our interpreters are highly qualified with extensive training in cultural competency, ensuring meaningful access for LEP patients. Click here to learn more about our language services.

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