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Linguistic discordance: Factors go beyond language

  • Tanya Anand
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns, and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, 5411, Tucson, Arizona, 85724, United States
    Search for articles by this author
  • Bellal Joseph
    Affiliations
    Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns, and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, 5411, Tucson, Arizona, 85724, United States
    Search for articles by this author
Published:November 11, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.11.016
      We read the article “Characterizing Injury Patterns and Outcomes in Hospitalized Trauma Patients with non-English Language Preferences” and congratulate the authors. The paper explores the needs of trauma patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and the drivers bringing them in the hospital.
      • Meyer C.H.
      • Zeidan A.
      • Beshara G.
      • et al.
      Characterizing injury patterns and outcomes in hospitalized trauma patients with non-English Language Preferences.
      When the Affordable Healthcare Act was signed, a provision was made for covered entities to provide “meaningful access” to language assistance services for those with LEP.
      American Medical Association (AMA)
      Affordable care Act, section 1557 fact sheet.
      The formidable challenge that language barriers place upon patients and healthcare system has long been cited to be responsible for worse outcomes, poor quality, and a threat to patient safety.
      • Al Shamsi H.
      • Almutairi A.G.
      • Al Mashrafi S.
      • Al Kalbani T.
      Implications of language barriers for healthcare: a systematic review.
      Flexibility remains as to the provision of these services, and a uniform standard as to what is considered adequate and equitable access still remains uncertain. In October 2022 the United States Health and Human Services (USHHS) announced steps to improve language access and $4 million in grants to develop and test methods of informing those with LEP on how to access language services.
      Health and Human Services (HHS)
      HHS takes action break language barriers.
      This topic is important as a growing number of patients with LEP regularly access care with barriers to translational services.

      Abbreviations:

      LEP (Limited English Proficiency), NELP (Non-English Language Proficiency)
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      References

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        • Zeidan A.
        • Beshara G.
        • et al.
        Characterizing injury patterns and outcomes in hospitalized trauma patients with non-English Language Preferences.
        Am J Surg. 2022 Sep 21; (S0002-9610(22)00568-2)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.09.021
        • American Medical Association (AMA)
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        HHS takes action break language barriers.
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