Posts tagged physicians
About 80% of physicians believed that having multi-lingual patient resources available was at least somewhat important, but 65% felt that their current available patient resources were fair, poor or non-existent, according to a poll of nearly 5,000 physicians by QuantiaMD, an online physician community.
About 81% of respondents indicated that Spanish was the most needed language for new resources.
The poll, completed in March, 2011, compiled results from members of QuantiaMD’s unique online collaborative in which 1 in 6 U.S. physicians engage, share and learn from experts and each other.
These data highlight a growing national issue as results of the 2010 US Census show that minorities compose more than one-third of the U.S. population and have represented between 81% and 89% of the population growth since 2000. About 1 out of 5 U.S. residents speak a primary language other than English at home, Census figures show.
“It is critical to the success of healthcare in the United States that patient materials be made available in multiple languages,” said Cardiologist Dr. Victor Bonilla of the University of California, Davis, in a QuantiaMD press release.
“Spanish is the second most common language spoken in the United States, making it critical to have Spanish materials available to patients. It is extremely difficult to explain a medical condition to a patient using materials that are not in their language and it can be very stressful and frightening for the patient.”
Nearly half of U.S. physicians say language or cultural barriers are obstacles to providing high-quality patient care, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, HealthLeaders Media reports.
About 48 percent of all physicians reported difficulties communicating with patients due to language or cultural barriers, and said they considered it a problem that affects their ability to provide high-quality care. At least 97 percent said they have at least some non-English speaking patients.
Yet less than 5 percent viewed these barriers as problems that could result in disparities in care among minorties:
The study, HSC Issue Brief–Modest and Uneven: Physician Efforts to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities, shows there is a great need to address the problem of language and cultural communication as the U.S. becomes more diversified, says James D. Reschovsky, PhD, senior health researcher for the Center for Studying Health System Change and co-author of the study. The study, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, includes responses from more than 4,700 physicians and the response rate was 62%.
The issue takes on more urgency in the U.S. because an ever-increasing number of people speak a language other than English at home, according to Reschovsky.
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