Due to current public health concerns regarding the recent global outbreak of the Coronavirus, health care providers are most definitely going to see an increase in the number of limited english proficient patient visits. A limited english proficient patient (LEP patient) or person is an individual who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. In the US, 97% of doctors report having treated LEP patients. If a patient is an LEP patient, it is important for healthcare providers to utilize the interpretation tools and services so that they can provide their patients with the language access they need. In fact, video remote interpreting is the most common way to help your LEP patients and can help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.
There are now eleven confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the United States. However, the Chinese government has reported nearly 20,500 confirmed cases. More than 400 people have died. While the virus began in Wuhan, it has spread to several other international cities. Which means, US healthcare providers need to be prepared in every way possible and be able to treat and communicate with every patient that may come through.
VRI Can Help
When treating Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients, it is highly recommended for healthcare providers to add a video remote interpreter to the communication session. VRI is a very important tool when it comes to working with patients who do not speak English.
Additionally, VRI can help reduce the spread of infection. Healthcare facilities can take steps to limit exposure by using VRI to communicate with their patients rather than meeting them in person. This can enable patients to manage symptoms at home, and keep them from coming into the healthcare facility unless needed.
Public health scares can be difficult and stressful for everyone, but it can cause even more strain for Limited English Proficient (LEP). In a situation like this, if there is poor planning to provide language access it can lead to miscommunications that have clinical consequences, health disparities for LEP patients, unfortunate health outcomes and lawsuits.
Boostlingo is here to help. We provide access to interpreters, and interpretation platforms 24/7. For more information visit our healthcare information page.