#LanguageAccess. What is your biggest Challenge? – Survey Results

Language Access Challenges

Gearing up for our fifth annual International Language Services Conference, we wanted to prepare for a diverse discussion between shareholder groups about the biggest challenges in #LanguageAccess by circulating a short survey.

Click on each of the three questions to see the results.

2. How would you describe your biggest challenge in that role?

language access-greatest challenges breakdown graph

Sample responses from each category

"Being seen as part of the 'team;' Being able to access information about the patient that would normally be freely given to others who are recognized as colleagues"

− Integrating Language Access to healthcare

"Rising demand for services, increasing costs, and stagnant budgets."

− Fiscal Impact

"Lack of cultural awareness or understanding that some providers and their staff have"

− Competency and Qualifications

"Health care team understanding the role of the interpreter"

− The Interpreter Role

"The consumers who do not know DOJ laws about language access."

− Compliance to & Understanding of Requirements

Based on the overwhelming level of participation, we’re concluding that it’s time we started working together to address these issues.

Defining the Categories: A Systems Approach

Participants were asked to share in the form of a free response for questions 2 and 3. Since every response identified a need from one stakeholder’s unique perspective, we took a systems thinking approach in identifying links between all responses, grouping them into six categories defined as follows:

(Click the circles below each response to scroll through additional responses in each category)

  • Competency and Qualifications: encompasses responses concerning skills and qualifications of practicing interpreters, interpreter candidates, bilingual providers; interpreter training programs; as well as the cultural competency of all stakeholders

"Lack of cultural awareness or understanding that some providers and their staff have."

− Competency and Qualifications

"Ensuring the interpreter stays focused and remembers they are here to provide a service."

− 2

"Concern for accuracy of translation and what is lost in translation. Due to our work as counselors our work is often foreign to our clients and requires extensive explanation."

  • Integrating Language Access into Healthcare: all responses pertaining to the provision of linguistically appropriate services, incorporation of best practices for providing language access, and inclusion of interpreter into the healthcare team

"Not being recognized as an integral part of the treatment team."

− Integrating Language Access to healthcare

"Healthcare provider/staff not actually using the Interpreter services available to the Patient and facility...relying on their own limited Spanish and/or using untrained staff"

"To be viewed as a part of the medical treatment team by the healthcare professionals."

  • Fiscal Impact: all responses regarding budgetary restrictions and burdens faced by hospital organizations as well as comments relating to the impact inadequate compensation has on the retention of qualified interpreters

"Reimbursement for interpreter services"

− Fiscal Impact

"Rising demand for services, increasing costs, and stagnant budgets."

− Fiscal Impact

"...how to pay for this service."

− Fiscal Impact 3
  • The Role of the Interpreter: all comments pertaining to the lack of or misunderstanding of the role of the interpreter in the healthcare setting by provider or interpreter

"...misconceptions about ASL and the interpreting process and profession."

− The Role of the Interpreter 1

"Health care team understanding the role of the interpreter"

− The Interpreter Role 2

"Interpreter not understanding the role of rehabilitation and their service role."

− Role 3
  • Compliance to and understanding requirements: all comments related to understanding federal, state, and local requirements as well as complying with said requirements

"...not every provider is willing to provide an interpreter."

− Requirements

"The consumers who do not know DOJ laws about language access."

− Compliance to & Understanding of Requirements

"The consumers who do not know DOJ laws about language access."

  • Other: all other comments that did not fit these six main categories

"When people/patient don't have the knowledge."

− Other

"Finding the right parties to engage"

"Misconceptions about deaf/hard of hearing ability to work or communicate in healthcare"

So, what's next?

Join us on October 14 for the fifth annual International Language Services Conference to hear from industry influencers in each stakeholder group and participate in work groups to work on actionable next-steps in overcoming these challenges and more!

2 Comments

  • Theresa Posthuma says:

    I am a staff ASL/English interpreter at a hospital. I would like to be able to participate in your conference, but I live in Maryland. Is there any possibility that this conference, or at least parts of it, could be live-streamed for those who are not in the Houston area?

    • Lauren Davis says:

      Hi, Theresa!
      We are certainly aiming to stream the conference in the future but aren’t quite ready for that this year. We may be able to broadcast a session or two, but are still working out the kinks! Please do follow the hashtag #ILSC2016 as that will be the active tag during the conference and particularly during workgroups, and we’d love you to participate that way!
      Thanks for your comment and for your contribuitions to Language Access!

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