Abstract

Resident physicians’ use of professional interpreters drives communication with hospitalized patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). We surveyed residents from three specialties across two hospitals affiliated with one academic medical institution about their communication with their last hospitalized LEP patient. Among 149 respondents (73% response rate), 71% reported using professional interpreters for fewer than 60% of hospital encounters. Most (91%) perceived their quality of communication with hospitalized LEP patients as worse than with English-speaking patients. Professional interpreter use varied substantially by resident and by hospital encounter, with more reporting use of ad hoc interpreters, their own language skills, or not talking to the patient due to time constraints during pre-rounds (39%), team rounds (49%), or check-ins (40%) than during procedural consents (9%) or family meetings (17%). The reported variation suggests targets for quality improvement efforts and the need for clear enforceable guidelines on resident communication with hospitalized LEP patients.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-6869
Print ISSN
1049-2089
Pages
pp. 1784-1798
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-19
Open Access
No
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