Quick, Easy to Use VRI Streamlines Communication with LEP Patients

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

The Limited English Proficient population is on the rise in the United States. As hospitals plan for patient admissions in the New Year, it is important to look at LEP population trends to ensure adequate provision of language services.

The latest federal regulation surrounding language access in healthcare, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, requires healthcare facilities receiving federal funding to provide meaningful access to each LEP individual to be served or likely to be encountered in its health programs and activities through the use of a qualified interpreter.

The first step to providing meaningful access for patients that do not speak English or have a preferred language other than English is to identify the language needs of the area. With a good understanding of the LEP population, hospitals can better prepare for LEP patient encounters and more easily fulfill federal regulations surrounding language access in healthcare.

U.S. Census Bureau data provides great insight into languages spoken other than English. Hospitals located in the largest 15 metro areas of the United States, i.e., New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Riverside CA, Boston, Miami and Detroit, can find comprehensive language data specific to their area from American Community Survey results.

Key findings include:

  • The number of languages spoken other than English at home
  • Percentage of metro area population age 5 and over that speak a language other than English at home
  • Data on smaller language groups like Bengali and Telugu.

Quick, easy to use language services tools, like video remote interpretation, simplify the process of providing language services to LEP patients. With VRI, healthcare providers have immediate access to a large pool of qualified medical interpreters. This is an essential mode of interpretation when language demand outweighs the supply of qualified interpreters available on site, languages of lesser diffusion are requested or in urgent care situations when the patient’s language is unknown prior to the encounter and services are needed rapidly. With Stratus Video’s VRI service on hand, providers can instantaneously connect to a qualified interpreter in 35 languages over video and more than 200 languages over audio on a secure, HIPAA compliant platform.

VRI technology simplifies provider workflows, particularly in areas with high LEP patient populations. Download our white paper, VRI Technology: How the Stratus Video Interpreting App Fulfills Your Language Access Requirements, to learn more.

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