Having trouble viewing images? Go here to see this e-mail online.
|In Canada, there are four key constituencies affected by language barriers to healthcare, according to a Health Canada report titled “Language Barriers in Access to Health Care.” These groups are: First Nations and Inuit communities, immigrants, deaf persons, and persons who speak English or French, but who are living in an area where their first language is not spoken commonly (like an English-speaker living in rural Quebec, for instance). Differences in languages can cause minor inconveniences or misunderstandings in many aspects of life. When it comes to healthcare, however, a language barrier can be the difference between life and death.The Health Canada report found that language barriers between patients and healthcare providers can result in adverse effects on quality of care, rights of patients, and patient health outcomes. Many major hospital systems employ around-the-clock translation services as a means to cope with language barriers that could adversely affect a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis and treatment or care. But is it enough?|
Doctors and nurses who speak the language of patients greatly improve the quality care in the eyes of non-English or French-speaking patients. Other considerations are accommodations made throughout all levels of care, not just in emergency settings.
Consider implementing these ideas in your healthcare organization today in order to communicate most effectively with all patients and to provide a sense of welcome and comfort to those in often sensitive situations:
Language barriers are real and it means better care on behalf of your organization by accommodating all patients and working to make them feel comfortable.
“Language Barriers in Access to Health Care.” Health Canada. 31 Mar. 2006. Web. 21 May 2010.
Submit your review