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:
- Executive Summary: A Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing LAS in Healthcare Organizations [PDF, 310 KB]
- A Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations [PDF, 2MB]
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