The Importance of Language in Patient-Centered Care

stock-photo-mother-and-daughter-talking-to-consultant-in-hospital-roomAmerican medical systems face challenges as demographic shifts result in a growing number of patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The commonality of language and cultural sensitivity are key elements that can facilitate the implementation of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. It is vital that healthcare providers offer translation services in order to respond to patients’ concerns and needs most effectively.

Medical organizations that receive federal funds are required by law to have interpreters and translated documents in place, but there are still gaps in the provision of language-specific treatment and care. For example, within the Latinx community, several dialects of Spanish are used depending on the country of origin. Multilingual staff members give care providers not only a competitive advantage, but also the ability to maximize the quality of care received by patients.

The advantages of same language service provision ultimately focus on the quality of care. This is because patients can explain their symptoms clearly, ask questions, and experience an enhanced comfort level. Health care personnel can better understand patient needs and concerns; additionally, they can clearly explain the course of treatment, the need for additional procedures, dosages of prescriptions, and dietary concerns. Essentially, every aspect of the doctor-patient dynamic is optimized. Patients who may be apprehensive dealing with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar setting with emotionally-charged potential can be put at ease by means of effective communication and a sense of inclusion.

In response to the growing number of LEP patients at all levels of healthcare across the country, several states now require healthcare interpreters to be certified in the language of their patients. This is an excellent reaction to changing demographics; however, high-quality proficiency testing is critical in meeting these requirements. As one Language Access Specialist recently stated, “My research showed that Language Testing International (LTI) had the best test available.” LTI stands ready to provide the necessary testing and certification to ensure that LEP patients have the most qualified interpreters possible throughout the healthcare industry. A proactive stance on the part of the medical establishment will be beneficial to both the industry and the patients it serves.

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Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

Contact us today to get started!

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Mi casa es su casa

stock-photo-hispanic-couple-outside-home-with-sold-signThe American Dream, a key piece of which is home ownership, is flourishing in Latinx communities all across the nation. By every economic measure, buying power on the part of Spanish-speaking Americans is skyrocketing to the tune of over $2 trillion. One of the most important areas where that buying power is manifesting itself is in home ownership. Over 6 million new homes will be purchased by Latinx consumers within the next few years. As a prominent executive with the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) put it, “With a growing Hispanic population and the highest rate of workforce participation, Hispanics are expected to drive growth in the housing market for decades”. While this is certainly good news for the real estate business, it also presents a series of challenges that will need to be met in terms of adapting to a Spanish-speaking customer base.

NAHREP says the first step would be “to address the incredible shortage of Spanish-language speaking, culturally competent real estate agents (7%) and mortgage professionals (4%)”. The lack of bilingual professionals in this key area- is a drag on the market. Many Latinx homebuyers express preferences for agents who can explain complicated transactions in a readily understandable format. Also, cultural sensitivity is important in terms of introducing upwardly mobile people into neighborhoods that might not reflect their ethnic identities and helping people select areas where they would feel at home. As one homebuyer put it, “The (Spanish-speaking) agent was able to tell us if we would feel comfortable around the neighborhood.”

Given the economic projections for the future, improved language skills and cultural sensibilities will play important roles in the world of real estate for some time to come. There will be an increased need for multilingual professionals in both real estate and financial services. These will create ripple effects in the banking and insurance sectors as well. Local government officials and educators will need to respond as demographic changes alter the social landscape of communities. The need for people certified in Spanish has never been greater and will only continue to grow as the future of our country unfolds.
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Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

Contact us today to get started!

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Latest Anti-Discrimination Rules: Language Assistance for Non-English Speakers

On May 18, 2016, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final rules implementing new anti-discrimination rules for Non-English Speakers within provisions of the Affordable Care Act § 1557. This is the first of several alerts discussing aspects of the new rule.  The alert focuses on those provisions requiring language assistance for persons with limited English proficiency; future alerts will cover rules related to sex discrimination and persons with disabilities. The new language assistance rules build on but extend beyond HHS’s 2003 Guidance Regarding Limited English Proficient Persons.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

ACTFL Signs Memorandum of Cooperation with University of Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — Earlier this month, The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) announced a strategic international partnership to expand and enhance foreign language collaboration at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. ACTFL and the Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades (CUCSH) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation initiating a new educational alliance to support academic research, new language assessments, and professional development workshops for language instructors at the University.

Leading the delegation (and pictured on left) was ACTFL Director of Professional Programs, Elvira Swender, along with the CEO of Language Testing International (LTI), Helen Hamlyn. Representatives from the University included CUCSH Dean, Héctor Raúl Solis Gadea and Dora Meléndez Vizcarra, Chair of the Department of Languages.

Click here to read the entire article on the ACTFL website.

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.