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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 May;19(2):391-415. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0007.

Access to hospital interpreter services for limited English proficient patients in New Jersey: a statewide evaluation.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA. Glenn.Flores@UTSouthwestern.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT/OBJECTIVES:

We surveyed New Jersey (NJ) hospitals to assess current language services and identify policy recommendations on meeting limited English proficiency (LEP) patients' needs.

METHODS:

Survey with 37 questions regarding hospital/patient features, interpreter services, and resources/policies needed to provide quality interpreter services.

RESULTS:

Sixty-seven hospitals responded (55% response rate). Most NJ hospitals have no interpreter services department, 80% provide no staff training on working with interpreters, 31% lack multilingual signs, and 19% offer no written translation services. Only 3% of hospitals have full-time interpreters, a ratio of 1 interpreter:240,748 LEP NJ residents. Most hospitals stated third-party reimbursement for interpreters would be beneficial, by reducing costs, adding interpreters, meeting population growth, and improving communication.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most NJ hospitals have no full-time interpreters, interpreter services department, or staff training on working with interpreters, and deficiencies exist in hospital signage and translation services. Most NJ hospitals stated third-party reimbursement for interpreter services would be beneficial.

PMID:
18469412
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.0.0007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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