Affordable Language Services: Implications for Health Care Organizations

Organization: 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
Author: 
Hablamos Juntos
Published Date: 
2005

This brief highlights the effects of language barriers on patient safety and quality of health care, and the challenges organizations must overcome in order to effectively address language barriers. Drawing on the experiences of the 10 Hablamos Juntos demonstration sites ("We Speak Together" a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), this brief also highlights the lessons that participating providers, health plans and other organizations learned, and suggests next steps that need to be taken in order to ensure that the nation’s limited English proficiency (LEP) patients receive safe, high quality health care. Though the Hablamos Juntos project focused on the Latino population, the challenges and opportunities these diverse health care organizations faced hold lessons for health care organizations serving other language groups.

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