Breaking the Language Barrier

Failure to communicate is a known cause of serious medical errors.  Data from the Joint Commission indicates that communication failures contribute to more than 70% of medical errors. This problem is exaggerated when patient-provider communication is complicated by language barriers, especially among immigrant populations. As many of 25% of the immigrant Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Islanders may not have anyone in the family older than 14 years old who speaks English (A.L. Cohen, et al, 2005).  Immigrant children represent the fastest growing segment of the pediatric population in the United States.  The staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital care for hundreds of limited or non-English speaking children and families each year.  Join me on this edition of “Children’s on Quality” and learn about the interpreter services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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