Did you know that Massachusetts is one of the top 10 states with residents who have “Limited English Proficiency (also known as LEP)”?

Communication and language barriers are associated with decreased quality of care and poor clinical outcomes, longer hospital stays, and higher rates of hospital readmissions. Persons with limited English proficiency and those who are deaf or hard of hearing may need an interpreter to communicate effectively, and persons who are blind or who have low vision may need materials or signage presented in alternative formats during their receipt of health care. Evidence suggests that access to communication and language assistance for patients and consumers is important to the delivery of high-quality care for all populations.

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

At Better Care Home Health, Inc., our clinicians are sensitive to the potential communication barriers between our caregivers, patients and their families. When conducting our initial evaluations for Home Care services, our staff seek to identify LEP, visual and/or hearing-impaired patients.

Better Care Home Health, Inc., along with your physician, will develop a Plan of Care which ensures that the patient and family receive Home Health participation information in their native language, and/or have the tools and materials necessary for understanding the plan. This includes (but is not limited to) things like patient plan of care and discharge instructions, informed consents, rights and responsibilities, medication details and materials regarding coverage for services and potential healthcare costs.

In some cases, a competent family member can assist our staff when interpreting information regarding the patient’s care. Other times, topics may be complex or confusing for a family member, and interpreting information in this way may not always be the most effective for the patient. Better Care Home Health, Inc. has access to professional medical interpreter services, which ensures that the information about the Plan of Care is communicated effectively, in the native language of the patient – particularly as services are just getting underway.

Additional resources are available, such as Teletypewriter (TTY) services (either with the patient’s home device or cell phone), sign language interpreters, closed-captioned educational and large-font program materials.

If you’ve been concerned about the quality and effectiveness of Home Care services for you or your loved one due to one or more of these communication barriers, or hesitant about Home Care for these reasons, please call or email us today. We’ll work with the patient, family and physician to ensure all services provided and questions are communicated effectively to everyone involved.