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Optimizing Care for Spanish-Speaking Patients and Families in the Hospital: Defining the Gaps and Interventions

  • Ivy Tam
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Ivy Tam, MD, 3411 Wayne Avenue #851, Bronx, NY 10467
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and University of California San Diego (I Tam, M Huang, A Patel, and KE Rhee), San Diego, Calif

    Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (I Tam), Bronx, NY
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  • Maria Huang
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and University of California San Diego (I Tam, M Huang, A Patel, and KE Rhee), San Diego, Calif
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  • Aarti Patel
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and University of California San Diego (I Tam, M Huang, A Patel, and KE Rhee), San Diego, Calif
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  • Kyung E. Rhee
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and University of California San Diego (I Tam, M Huang, A Patel, and KE Rhee), San Diego, Calif
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Published:October 22, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.10.017
      Clinical and safety outcomes continue to be unequal between Spanish-speaking limited-English-proficient patients and English-proficient patients in the US healthcare system. In our study, “Spanish Interpreter Services for the Hospitalized Pediatric Patient: Provider and Interpreter Perceptions,” we conducted focus groups at one freestanding children's hospital to elicit perspectives on interpreter and provider roles, modalities of interpretation, and barriers to accessing language services.
      • Tam I
      • Huang MZ
      • Patel A
      • et al.
      Spanish interpreter services for the hospitalized pediatric patient: provider and interpreter perceptions.
      Staff agreed interpreters should provide word-for-word interpretation (conduit role); some felt interpreters could also act as advocates or cultural brokers. All groups preferred in-person interpreters over telephone and video interpreters. Barriers to in-person interpretation included long wait times for interpreter arrival, provider overconfidence in Spanish skills, and inconsistent identification of limited-English-proficient families. Pediatric encounters are complicated by the involvement of multiple participants: the patient, caregiver(s), and provider(s). In this progress report, we contextualize our findings in light of studies published following our manuscript submission in December 2018.
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