Title

Access to Hospital Interpreter Services for Limited English Proficient Patients in New Jersey: A Statewide Evaluation

Publication/Presentation Date

5-2008

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.

Volume

19

Issue

2

First Page

391

Last Page

415

ISSN

1049-2089

Disciplines

Communication | Economics | Health and Medical Administration | Health Communication | Health Economics | International and Intercultural Communication | Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences

PubMedID

18469412

Department(s)

Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty

Document Type

Article