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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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A Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations

With growing concerns about racial, ethnic, and language disparities in health and health care and the need for healthcare systems to accommodate increasingly diverse patient populations, language access services (LAS) have become more and more a matter of national importance.

The Office of Minority Health has sponsored the development of A Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations guide to help healthcare organizations implement effective LAS to meet the needs of their limited English proficient (LEP) patients, thereby increasing their access to health care.

LAS are especially relevant to racial and ethnic disparities in health care. A report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on racial and ethnic disparities in health care documented through substantial research that minorities, as compared to their White American counterparts, receive lower quality of care across a wide range of medical conditions, resulting in poorer health outcomes and lower health statuses. The research conducted by the IOM showed that language barriers can cause poor, abbreviated, or erroneous communication, poor decision making on the part of both providers and patients, or ethical compromises. The implementation of appropriate LAS in healthcare settings can serve to:

  • Increase access to care
  • Improve quality of care, health outcomes, and health status
  • Increase patient satisfaction
  • Enhance or ensure appropriate resource utilization

Click on a link below to access the executive summary and guide:

Disclaimer
The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

While the guide contains Web links to third-party sites, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) is not responsible for the content of any linked sites. OMH provides these links as a convenience and does not endorse the companies or contents of any linked sites. Names, descriptions, and information do not constitute endorsement of a product, service, or site.

12/27/2016 12:48:47 PM