Resolve to Improve LEP Care This New Year with Qualified Medical Interpretation Services

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

Throughout the United States, LEP patient populations are projected to rise in the coming year. For 2020, hospitals need a quick, effective way to facilitate communication with patients who have a preferred language other than English. Many hospitals' New Year’s Resolution is to improve patient care. For limited English proficient, Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients, this can be achieved with the use of language assistance services.

While most healthcare facilities have a language access solution in place for LEP patients, often times there are requests for languages that may not be available onsite or the demand for language services simply outweighs the hospital supply of qualified medical interpreters. When these situations arise, healthcare providers may be tempted to use bilingual hospital staff or patient family members to facilitate communication. This practice can lead to serious consequences with the potential of negative impact on both patient care delivery and outcome.

Studies show family members and other untrained, ad-hoc interpreters are more likely to commit communication errors, particularly when medical terminology is used. When a communication error is made, the likelihood of an adverse event greatly increases. A comprehensive literary review, conducted by The University of California Berkeley School of Public Health and the National Health Law Program, highlights several malpractice claims where the presence of language barriers are linked with poor patient outcome.

Fortunately, there is a solution. One that is quick, effective and helps ensure hospital compliance with federal regulations surrounding language access in healthcare. Video remote interpretation allows healthcare providers to connect instantaneously with a qualified medical interpreter in a wide variety of languages over a secure, HIPAA compliant video platform. Thanks to recent technology integrations, our VRI solution can now be accessed directly from patient bedside devices, provider mobile communications apps and telehealth solutions.

With more language access points available at providers’ fingertips, hospitals can more readily ensure all patients have meaningful access to their healthcare information, regardless of preferred language or cultural background. Join us in our mission to improve LEP patient care this coming year. Download our white paper to learn more about the importance of health equity and how quick language access solutions can help your facility eliminate disparities in care.  

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