HealthEd Academy Report Reveals Many Patient Languages Not Supported by Healthcare System

Clubs and Organizations

February 8, 2013

Clark, NJ -- Despite ongoing efforts, healthcare providers looking to meet the needs of culturally diverse patient populations face significant barriers, including a lack of resources in the appropriate languages. The findings come from a report published Monday by HealthEd Academy—the research arm of HealthEd, a healthcare solutions company rooted in education.

HealthEd Academy surveyed almost 200 healthcare extenders—non-MD health professionals who work directly with patients and whose numbers include nurses, dietitians, health educators, nurse practitioners, patient navigators, and social workers. Because of their position on the front lines of healthcare, healthcare extenders have unique perspectives into the realities of meeting the needs of multicultural patient audiences.
Report highlights include:

- When asked about the challenges of reaching culturally diverse patient groups, 29% of respondents cited communication and language barriers

- Almost half of respondents lack access to patient education materials in the languages they need. Just as many respondents (18%) cited a need for Chinese-language materials as for Spanish/Spanish Creole materials

- 42% of respondents translate patient education materials into other languages

The report, Engaging Patients From Multicultural Backgrounds, also depicts hurdles and approaches that extend beyond language barriers. Of the 192 respondents:

- When asked about strategies for engaging patients from diverse backgrounds, only 35% said they use community health workers

- Only a small minority (1%) deliver patient education at local pharmacies/drugstores—this despite a provision in the Affordable Care Act that emphasizes the role of pharmacies in medication therapy management

- 51% of respondents are comfortable with their knowledge of the health beliefs of the cultural groups with which they work

"These findings show that diversity in the United States has a very real and tangible impact on healthcare. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all patients," said Katherine Margolis, PhD, director of health behavior strategy and research for HealthEd.

To download a free excerpt or learn more about purchasing the full report, visit www.HealthEdAcademy.com.

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