Testing Bilingual Clinicians: An Important Part of Providing Comprehensive Language Services for Patients with Limited English Proficiency

      The limited English proficient (LEP) population in the United States is large and growing. More than 60 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home, and more than 25 million speak English “less than very well” and are considered LEP.

      Vickstrom E.How Well Do You Speak English? Assessing the Validity of the American Community Survey English-Ability Question. Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division United States Census Bureau. Oct 7, 2015. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/research-matters/2015/10/how-well-do-you-speak-english-assessing-the-validity-of-the-american-community-survey-english-ability-question.html.

      Language access services are of critical importance in the English-language-dominant US health care system, for patient safety, accuracy of diagnosis, and treatment effectiveness. Rules and regulations governing the provision of these services have strengthened in recent years, with the Affordable Care Act and evolving state and federal requirements.

      Harjer S.E.Language Access: Improve Health Outcomes for Limited English Proficient Patients. Jan 23, 2019. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/news-and-multimedia/blogs/ambulatory-buzz/2019/01/language-access–improve-health-outcomes-for-limited-english-proficient-patients/.

      The Joint Commission is paying increasing attention to hospitals’ policies and practices in this area and expects organizations to have language access plans.

      Newnum G.Joint Commission Standards for Qualified Interpretation. CyraCom Language Services Blog. Jul 16, 2019. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. http://blog.cyracom.com/joint-commission-standards-for-qualified-interpretation.

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. Vickstrom E.How Well Do You Speak English? Assessing the Validity of the American Community Survey English-Ability Question. Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division United States Census Bureau. Oct 7, 2015. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/research-matters/2015/10/how-well-do-you-speak-english-assessing-the-validity-of-the-american-community-survey-english-ability-question.html.

      2. Harjer S.E.Language Access: Improve Health Outcomes for Limited English Proficient Patients. Jan 23, 2019. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/news-and-multimedia/blogs/ambulatory-buzz/2019/01/language-access–improve-health-outcomes-for-limited-english-proficient-patients/.

      3. Newnum G.Joint Commission Standards for Qualified Interpretation. CyraCom Language Services Blog. Jul 16, 2019. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. http://blog.cyracom.com/joint-commission-standards-for-qualified-interpretation.

      4. US Department of Heath and Human Services Office of Minority Health, A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice. Apr 2013. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/assets/pdfs/EnhancedCLASStandardsBlueprint.pdf.

        • Patel D.N.
        • et al.
        Preoperative consent for patients with limited English proficiency.
        J Surg Res. 2016; 200: 514-522
        • Solomon A.
        • et al.
        Surgical residents as certified bilingual speakers: a quality improvement initiative.
        Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020; 46 (xxx–xxx)
        • Diamond L.C.
        • et al.
        Non–English-language proficiency of applicants to US residency programs.
        JAMA. 2014; 312: 2405-2407
        • Tang G.
        • et al.
        The Kaiser Permanente Clinician Cultural and Linguistic Assessment Initiative: research and development in patient–provider language concordance.
        Am J Public Health. 2011; 101: 205-208
        • Diamond L.C.
        • Reuland D.S.
        Describing physician language fluency: deconstructing medical Spanish.
        JAMA. 2009; 301: 426-428
        • Benmamoun E.
        • et al.
        Heritage languages and their speakers: Opportunities and challenges for linguistics.
        Theoretical Linguistics. 2013; 39: 129-181
        • Diamond L.
        • et al.
        Factors associated with accuracy of self-assessment compared with tested non-English language proficiency among primary care providers.
        Med Care. 2019; 57: 385-390
        • Gany F.
        • et al.
        Targeting social and economic correlates of cancer treatment appointment keeping among immigrant Chinese patients.
        J Urban Health. 2011; 88: 98-103
      5. US Department of Health and Human Services. Section 1557: Ensuring Meaningful Access for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency. Civil Rights Provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Accessed Apr 16, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/1557-fs-lep-508.pdf.

        • Diamond L.C.
        • et al.
        Getting by: underuse of interpreters by resident physicians.
        J Gen Internal Med. 2009; 24: 256-262