New tools help improve patient safety for those with limited English
Research Activities, December 2012, No. 388
Research shows that patient safety events that affect patients with limited English proficiency tend to be more severe and more frequently due to communication errors compared to English-speaking patients. Two new tools are now available to help improve patient safety for those with limited English proficiency. The TeamSTEPPS® Limited English Proficiency Module developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Department of Defense can help staff reduce medical errors for patients with limited English skills. Approximately 57 million people—20 percent of the U.S. population—speak a language other than English at home, and approximately 25 million—8.6 percent of the U.S. population—are defined as limited English proficient, meaning that they speak English less than "very well."
The module is available in CD format and includes PowerPoint presentations, teaching modules, and video vignettes that can be used to train staff. A companion to the TeamSTEPPS module Improving Patient Safety Systems for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: A Guide for Hospitals helps hospital leaders learn how to identify, report, monitor, and prevent medical errors among patients with LEP.