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J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Aug;14(4):602-7. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9532-z.

Comparison of throughput times for limited English proficiency patient visits in the emergency department between different interpreter modalities.

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  • 1Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO, USA. Grover.Amy@tchden.org

Abstract

Appropriate interpretation is imperative for families with limited English proficiency (LEP). We compared throughput times for ED visits involving families with LEP based on type of interpretation provided: in-person interpretation, remote telephonic interpretation or bilingual providers. This study is a secondary analysis of a prospective study of caretaker satisfaction with different interpreter modalities. We queried the medical record for event time stamps, clinical factors and disposition. The in-person cohort (116 min) had a significantly shorter total throughput time than telephonic (141 min) and bilingual provider (153 min) cohorts (P < 0.0001), due to a difference in time seen by provider to disposition. Time seen by provider to disposition remained statistically significantly shorter for the in-person cohort when compared to telephonic interpretation when controlling for potential confounders such as admission rate (P = 0.006). In-person interpretation significantly decreased ED throughput times and may be an important consideration in the choice of interpreter modality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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