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Four Keys to Improving Patient Health Literacy

Acute Care July 13, 2016

U.S. Census data indicate that 21 percent of people living in the United States speak a language other than English at home, and in some areas the number is more than double that.

Cultural and linguistic barriers between patients and providers are proven to have an impact on healthcare outcomes, notes The Joint Commission, the Commonwealth Fund and many other leading healthcare organizations.

Four keys to overcoming healthcare language barriers include:

  1. Improving access to and the quality of translation services.
  2. Offering health education materials in multiple languages.
  3. Using technology solutions like interactive patient engagement systems to deliver health information in the patient’s preferred language.
  4. Offering real-time translation services at the bedside through the interactive patient engagement system.

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