3 WAYS IMPROVING LEP PATIENT COMMUNICATION HELPS HOSPITALS ACHIEVE THE TRIPLE AIM
Better US healthcare depends on three factors, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI):
- Patient experience
- Health outcomes
- Cost reduction
Together, these factors make up The Triple Aim. IHI published this guide in 2008, and hospitals nationwide use it to improve their standards of care.
To meet these Aims when treating limited-English proficient (LEP) patients, hospitals need a quality language services program with skilled, professional interpreters. Here’s why:
Interpretation Services Impact Satisfaction – And More
The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) found that speaking to people in-language with professional interpreters:
- Improves efficiency
- Reduces errors
- Boosts satisfaction
Better Communication Improves Health Outcomes
Still, hospital staff sometimes bypass professional interpreters, using a bilingual colleague or family member instead.
Providers can improve interpreter usage with regular training and accountability. Language services should also streamline interpreter access, whether on-site or via phone or video. Staff will use an interpreter more consistently if the process is quick, easy, and reliable.
Better Communication Reduces Costs
Investing in high-quality language services may save hospitals money long-term. Professional interpreters may help hospitals avoid:
- Medicare reimbursement cutsdue to high readmission rates
- Lost staff productivityduring longer-than-necessary LEP patient interactions
- Costly miscommunication-based diagnostic errors
- Lost market share based on poor HCAHPS results
Providers can boost cost savings further by using language services efficiently. Often, that means partnering with an interpretation partner like CyraCom. Our clients gain access to hundreds of languages via phone and more than 20 via video for a fixed, per-minute rate.
How is your facility following the Triple Aim process? Feel free to leave comments below.