Handling Transitions in Care For Patients with Limited English Proficiency

Handling Transitions in Care for LEP Patients | Telelanguage

Healthcare language services - certified medical interpretersHandling transitions in care for LEP patients…communication is key! Communication in health care settings is especially important when patients experience transitions in care. When patients move to another care setting or are discharged from the hospital, a thorough understanding of discharge instructions is necessary for patient compliance. But for patients with limited English proficiency, transitions in care have a higher chance of causing lapses in communication which can lead to safety events.

More than Sixty-million Americans speak a language other than English and more than 8% of the United States population is considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than ‘very well.’ According to the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA), LEP patients who don’t receive interpretation during admission and discharge have readmission rates that are 9.4% higher than LEP patients who receive interpretation services.  Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act requires health systems to provide qualified interpreters for limited English proficient patients. While most health systems understand the need and importance of a quality language access plan, do you have a quality plan for transitions in care and patient discharge?


How can health systems ensure quality communication takes place during transitions in care for LEP patients?

Your health system should have pre-translated materials for the top languages that your health care facility serves. For LEP patients speaking rarer languages, planning for discharge with your staff is important. When a patient speaks a rare language, your language services provider should be able to offer interpretation solutions for providing meaningful language access, such as scheduling an on-site, telephonic, or video remote interpreter for transitions in care, and translating vital documents for transitions in care.


How Telelanguage Can Help


Video Remote Interpreting

Video Remote Interpreting is an on-demand interpretation solution that bridges the gap between over-the-phone interpreting and on-site interpreting. It can also be extremely cost-effective in healthcare settings because no minimum hours or mileage reimbursement are needed to gain access to the interpreter (as might occur with an in-person appointment).

Rural area hospitals can also improve LEP patient care with Video Remote Interpretation (VRI), where access to language interpreters may be limited. For patients speaking rare languages, or when a fast response is needed that may require extra visual communication with the interpreter, Video Remote Interpretation may be an appropriate solution to facilitate communication during transitions in care.

Using leading-edge technology, Video Remote Interpreting is a perfect on-demand solution for hospital and healthcare systems who require a fast response.


On-site Interpretation

On-site interpretation can be the right solution to support LEP patient care for lengthy appointments or interviews planned in advance. When a conversation will be complex or time-consuming, in-person interpretation will help reduce patient stress and ensure meaningful communication – in this case, for discharge and transitions in care. Medical situations can cause stress for anyone, but when there is a language barrier, having an interpreter present can greatly reduce the stress for the LEP patient. When a situation arises where you need an on-site interpreter fast, Telelanguage can have a certified medical interpreter at a location in as little as 30 minutes.

Telephonic Interpretation

Over-the-Phone Interpretation is an on-demand, remote interpreting service that offers a fast response when urgent or unexpected language barriers comes up. If transitions in care for an LEP patient need a fast response, Telephonic Interpreting allows medical professionals to connect to an interpreter in seconds, regardless of the language needed. Telelanguage provides the fastest connect times in the industry (average time is 7 seconds).


Document Translation

Having prepared translation of vital documents in the top non-English languages of your healthcare facility is crucial. Medical documents and patient care instructions can be confusing for a patient, but when the patient does not speak English documents must be provided in the language preferred by the patient. Telelanguage has the capacity to translate documents from English to over 100 target languages and vice versa.
Having dependable access to language services allows healthcare professionals to provide better service, and shows the community you serve that you are committed to patient-centered care. Telelanguage supports your staff with free training, 24/7 customer support, and free support materials to ensure that transitions in care are timely and effective. Prioritizing interpretation and translation during transitions in care reduces the risk of misunderstandings that can have clinical consequences.  


Qualified medical interpreters have been associated with:

  • Higher quality of clinical care
  • Improved care
  • Higher levels of patient satisfaction
  • Fewer communication errors
  • A greater comprehension of diagnoses and follow up care instructions
  • Lower rates of readmission


Language Access in Healthcare for a Better Patient Experience

Download the Free eBook!

Learn more ways to improve LEP patient communication and satisfaction. Get your free eBook to Language Access in Healthcare!

The Healthcare Interpretation Guide: Language Access for a Better Patient Experience! [Download Your Free Copy!]


Telelanguage has been providing professional medical interpreters for healthcare organizations since 1991, and over 70% of our current clients are healthcare entities. Our team of 5,000+ certified interpreters is ready to speak in over 300 languages. We offer complete language service solutions, including telephonic interpretation, on-site interpretation, video remote interpretation, and translation services.

No matter what languages your patients speak, Telelanguage can help. Superior language support for health systems — available 24/7, 365 days a year. Have questions? Chat with us live or contact us for more information for your health center. Ask us about our free services trial programs. 


Certified medical interpreters ready to speak in over 300 languages!

Call us today at 888-983-5352

Professional medical interpreters available telephonically, face to face, or via video remote!