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Health Research & Educational Trust

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Published: by American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust

Topic: Health Care Disparities | Resource type: Case Study

Lee Health, the largest health system in Southwest Florida is comprised of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals. Lee Health has made strides in their efforts to address health care disparities by beginning an initiative to improve the language process and access. The hospital purchased video remote interpreting machines which readily provide access to interpreters of various different languages without having interpreters physically at the hospital. This improved quality and access by cutting down response times to interpretation requests.
The Electronic Medical Record screen was also enhanced to include a banner which flashes across the screen if an interpreter is needed. This helps to ensure an interpreter is connected with the family as needed and in a timely manner. Additionally, a database was created with the output of a dashboard which includes information on language, religion, age, race & ethnicity. This dashboard helps to provide information regarding patient demographical changes and needs by unit, hospital and physician office. In addition, another piece of information tracked is when an interpreter is requested via the Electronic Medical Record and what modality is used most frequently to provide the service.