System-level factors affecting clinicians' perceptions and use of interpreter services in california public hospitals

Danielle Baurer, Julie C. Yonek, Alan B. Cohen, Joseph D. Restuccia, Romana Hasnain-Wynia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Professional language interpreters are skilled in the nuances of interpretation and are less likely to make errors of clinical significance but clinicians infrequently use them. We examine system-level factors that may shape clinicians' perceptions and use of professional interpreters. Exploratory qualitative study in 12 California public hospitals. We conducted in-person key informant interviews with hospital leadership, clinical staff, and administrative staff. Five emergent themes highlight system-level factors that may influence clinicians' perceptions and use of professional interpreters in hospitals: (1) organization-wide commitment to improving language access for LEP patients; (2) organizational investment in remote interpreter technologies to increase language access; (3)training clinicians on how to access and work with interpreters; (4) hospital supports the training and certification of bilingual staff to serve as interpreters to expand in-person, on-site, interpreter capacity; and (5)organizational investment in readily accessible telephonic interpretation. Multiple system-level factors underlie clinicians' use of professional interpreters. Interventions that target these factors could improve language services for patients with limited English proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Clinicians
  • Hospitals
  • Language services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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