This guide, commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, describes how hospitals can improve patient safety by focusing on meeting the language assistance needs of their patients with limited English proficiency (LEP).  Research suggests that adverse events affect patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) more frequently, are often caused by communication problems, and are more likely to result in serious harm compared to those that affect English-speaking patients. This guide focuses on how hospitals can better identify, report, monitor, and prevent medical errors in patients with LEP.  The guide makes the following recommendations for improving patient safety:

  • Foster a Supportive Culture for Safety of Diverse Patient Populations
  • Adapt Current Systems To Better Identify Medical Errors Among Patients with LE
  • Improve Reporting of Medical Errors for LEP Patients
  • Routinely Monitor Patient Safety for LEP Patients
  • Address Root Causes To Prevent Medical Errors Among LEP Patients

The guide also includes the TeamSTEPPS LEP Training Module to train hospital staff on patient safety issues for patients with LEP.   The training module includes a “train the trainer” module; workshop materials, including slides, handouts, and exercises; video vignettes to illustrate key concepts; and an evaluation guide and metrics.

The guide was prepared by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Abt Associates.

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