Navigation Links
One Hospital's Efforts to Hurdle the Language Barrier
Date:7/22/2011

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Rebecca Reyes's job at Duke University Hospital is to help fill in the cracks in the system that's intended to make sure everyone gets good medical care.

Reyes works as coordinator of the hospital's Latino Health Project, a job she's held for 10 years.

"The hospital created this position," Reyes said. "Various leaders got together and realized they needed someone to pay more attention to this population in a more structured way."

Most of the problems she encounters involve language, as English-speaking doctors, nurses and administrators struggle to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients and families.

But language problems spread beyond treatment issues.

"People receive a bill, and it's all in English," Reyes said. "How can we make sure our bills are bilingual, or how can we make sure they can access a bilingual person to help them? You can start feeling that a certain part of the population just doesn't want to pay their bills, and that's not accurate. They just don't understand the document that's been sent to them."

English-language prescription bottles are another potential problem. "We work with our pharmacists to use bilingual or visual instructions," she said.

And, language issues can crop up in the most unexpected places. "That's part of our work, constantly identifying where the gaps are," Reyes said. To get Spanish-speaking people to participate in clinical trials, for instance, you need Spanish-speaking people to explain what the trials are about and will involve, she said.

The other health barrier faced by Latinos at the hospital, Reyes said, is a lack of knowledge about how the health-care system works in the United States.

As an example, she cites Chile, where residents often go to a healer if they're sick. "Now you're here and you get sick, and you are wondering where you go," Reyes said.

Despite these issues, Reyes believes that many of the health disparities between the Latino community and white Americans derive from a social context, and are not solely due to failings of the health-care system.

"If we're going to look at obesity, why is it we don't have a grocery store in the inner city? Why do they only exist in the suburbs?" she asked. "Why are liquor ads all over the place in the inner city, but not in the suburbs? Isn't that interesting?"

Reyes also does outreach into the community, working with different agencies that help the Spanish-speaking and immigrant populations to promote better health. For example, if the Hispanic Center is holding a health fair, Reyes will try to find doctors, nurses or students to help staff it. It's difficult to do a lot of that, however, as Reyes is an office of one, and her hands are full.

"I work more with agencies that are doing this, to see how Duke Hospital can participate in these areas," she said.

SOURCE: Rebecca Reyes, MSW, program coordinator, The Latino Health Project, Duke University Hospital, Durham, N.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The private sale of drugs in public hospitals
2. Most pandemic plans in Ontario hospitals have not been tested: Queens University study
3. SHARECOR Partners With Quantros, Inc. to Facilitate Core Measures and Regulatory Reporting in Louisiana Hospitals
4. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Report Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results
5. Father Channels His Grief into Advocacy, Promotes Simple Actions to Make Hospitals Safer for Children
6. Vestara and EXP Pharmaceutical Services Corp. Announce Partnership Making Available Industry's Only Automated Pharmaceutical Waste Management Solution to over 5,000 U.S. Hospitals
7. Small to Mid-Sized Hospitals Turn to Orion Health to Implement Health IT Solutions for Improved Patient Care and Outcomes
8. Patients Do Better at Hospitals That Follow Stroke Guidelines
9. Evidence-based care and outcomes improve at Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals
10. Global Hospitals and Healthcare Suppliers Focus on Cutting Costs and Improving Quality at 2010 GHX Supply Chain Summit
11. COBRAGuard Partners With THA to Offer Texas Hospitals COBRA Relief
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... AccentCare, a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health ... Home Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness Center at Florida ... money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up to 10 people ... keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at 7:00 p.m. on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, ... and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 ... company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom ... to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through ...
(Date:9/25/2017)...   Montrium , an industry leader in ... IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness Conference ... Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization (CRO), ... to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve compliance ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) ... is now successfully helping those with the widespread pain ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous ... spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: