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Q&A: What’s different about working with LEP and ESL patients?
Language shouldn’t be a barrier to good healthcare. Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers are required to offer interpretation services to anyone who walks in their door, be they English as a second language (ESL) patients, Limited English Proficency (LEP) patients, or are hearing or vision impaired. Not accommodating these patients will not only put you on CMS’ bad side, but also open you up to expensive lawsuits.
So what’s really the difference between treating a ESL or LEP patient? We asked Vikki Choate, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, a healthcare consultant and international speaker with Huron Consulting Group, to go over the basics of working with these patients to achieve the best outcomes.
This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity.
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