Patients don't have language barriers; the healthcare system does
Showstack, Rachel E.
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Showstack R. Patients don’t have language barriers; the healthcare system does. Emergency Medicine Journal Published Online First: 12 August 2019. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2019-208929
Benda et al found that in an emergency department in the eastern United States, Spanish-speaking patients who needed language assistance received inconsistent and often non-recommended language access services across different phases of patient care.1 These ranged from emergency department staff speaking English to the patient, the provider speaking Spanish (with varying levels of proficiency) or the use of either professional or ad hoc interpreters. What happens in the hospital investigated in their study undoubtedly occurs in hospitals across the USA: linguistic minority patients are left without adequate language services, potentially reducing their access to quality healthcare.
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