Qualified interpreters improve health literacy and patient safety

July 2007
Patient Education Management;Jul2007, Vol. 14 Issue 7, p73
Academic Journal
In the April issue of Patient Education Management we covered a new public policy white paper titled: "What Did the Doctor Say? Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety" that was issued by the Joint Commission. In that issue we focused on reading and understanding health information and promised to revisit other aspects suggested for improving health literacy that pertain to patient education. One of those recommendations not covered in the April article was "The enhanced training and use of interpreters for patients." In another Joint Commission report titled "Hospitals, Language and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation," recommendations for addressing language and cultural issues that increasingly pose challenges to hospitals seeking to deliver safe, effective care were discussed. There are two communication issues -- one is language and the other is culture -- that impact patient education. Therefore in the July 2007 issue of PEM we will target language issues and in the August 2007 issue we will cover cultural issues creating a two-part series.


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