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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Interpreter services: The effect on quality and outcomes of care

Gayle Tang, MSN, RN1, Sunny K. Pak, MS1, and Neill Piland, DrPH2. (1) National Linguistic & Cultural Programs, National Diversity, Kaiser Permanente, One Kaiser Plaza, 17L, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 271-6828, gayle.tang@kp.org, (2) Institute of Rural Health, Idaho State University, Campus Box 8174, Graveley Hall 215, Pocatello, ID 83209-8174

This evidence-based study aims to evaluate whether or not the provision of trained interpreters and an integrated system of care are predictive of better outcomes for limited-English proficient (LEP) patients. This study compares two different systems for Cantonese and Spanish speaking patients, at two study sites. The intervention site has an integrated system that provides patients who speak either language with trained interpreters, bilingual providers, and language specific materials. Direct phone access is provided for Cantonese speaking patients. Trained interpreters are those who have been certified within the intervention site and have completed a year-long Health Care Interpreter Certificate Program. The control site lacks an integrated approach for both Cantonese and Spanish speaking patients. Outcome variables, such as patientsí use of preventive services, risk of medical errors, satisfaction of patients, providers, and interpreters are examined. Phase one of the study gathers qualitative data with focus groups of patients, providers, and interpreters to inform the development of satisfaction surveys. Phase two includes the collection of data with the developed surveys and electronic database reviews, which further examine the relative utilization rates and costs of different indicators of care such as hospitalizations, lab testing, and emergency visits among the study groups. A study of this integrated system of language access for patients identifies key elements in developing a model system of culturally competent care in serving the LEP population. It also evaluates existing strategies that will be useful in presenting business cases focused on service improvement in healthcare.

Learning Objectives:

  • "At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Access and Services, Access to Care

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Kaiser Permanente interpretation services and an integrate system of care with access to language services.
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Cultural Competency/Diversity: Understanding Diversity From a Community Perspective

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA