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In Any Language: Improving the Quality and Availability of Language Services in Hospitals

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Publication Date: September 2008

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Hospitals and other health care facilities)

Type: Report

Abstract:

In Any Language: Improving the Quality and Availability of Language Services is the final report of the recently completed Speaking Together: National Language Services Network program. It highlights the experiences of 10 participating hospitals and showcases some of the proven practices that were implemented to improve the language services these health care organizations provide.

The report includes performance measures that were developed during Speaking Together to provide a common platform for improving quality in language services. It includes sections highlighting progress that the hospitals have made in achieving their goals around improved language services delivery. Also described are the structural, organizational and procedural changes that took place in the hospitals to support and sustain improvements on behalf of patients with language needs, as well as lessons learned throughout the program.

Speaking Together was a national initiative aimed at improving the delivery of language services to reduce health care disparities faced by patients across America. This program—the first of its kind to integrate quality improvement techniques with hospital-based language services—demonstrated how communities with linguistically diverse patient populations can deliver high quality language services to those patients that need them.