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Interpreter Provision and Hospital-Associated Outcomes Within the Limited English Proficiency Population: Analysis of Administrative Data

  • Nicole BlayEmail author
  • Marika Seremetkoska
  • Jenny Morris
  • Gael Holters
  • Sharelle Ioannou
  • Verily Thomas
  • Bronwyn Everett
Concise Research Reports

INTRODUCTION

Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) experience longer hospital length of stay (LOS) and higher readmission rates compared with the English-speaking community.1 The impact of interpreter use on hospital outcomes, within the LEP population, is largely unknown.

Reported barriers to interpreter use include practitioners’ time constraints, complexity of the interpreter booking system, and convenient access to informal interpreters.2 In this culturally diverse region in Sydney, Australia, booking the free-of-charge interpreter service requires 3-weeks’ advance notice although a 24-h emergency telephone service is available.3 The use of informal interpreters is considered a breach of policy.4

METHOD

A retrospective analysis of 19,627 de-identified and merged demographic, overnight-stay inpatient and interpreter records from one hospital for the 2014–2015 financial year were examined to determine the impact of interpreter provision on LOS and 28-day hospital...

Notes

Acknowledgments

Sincere appreciation is extended to Ms. Rachel Langdon, Ms. Katina Varelis, and Ms. Louise Smith for assistance with data provision.

Funding Sources

This study was supported by NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Office Strategy Reserve Funding 2015–2016.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics approval was gained for this study.

Conflict of Interest

BE was awarded a Sanofi-Aventis Honoraria (2016) and is a representative on the Dyslipidaemia in Nursing Advisory Board. SI was awarded funding from NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Office Strategy Reserve Funding 2015–2016. GH is the manager for Diabetes Headquarters, Australia and New Zealand. All remaining authors declare they do not have a conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Karliner LS, Auerbach A, Nápoles A, Schillinger D, Nickleach D, Pérez-Stable EJ. Language Barriers and Understanding of Hospital Discharge Instructions. Med Care. 2012;50:283–89.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Kale E, Syed HR. Language barriers and the use of interpreters in the public health services. A questionnaire-based survey. Patient Educ Couns. 2010; 81:187–91.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    NSW Health. Health language services. NSW Ministry of Health; 2015. Available at: https://www.swslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/services/Interpreter/bookings.html. Accessed 22 Oct 2018.
  4. 4.
    NSW Health. Interpreters-standard procedures for working with health care interpreters. NSW Government. Standard No.: PD2017_044.Google Scholar
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    Blay N, Ioannou S, Seremetkoska M, et al. Healthcare interpreter utilisation: analysis of health administrative data. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3135-5. Accessed 22 October 2018.
  6. 6.
    South Western Sydney Local Health District. South Western Sydney Local Health District Year in Review 2015/16. Liverpool: SWSLHD; 2016.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Blay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marika Seremetkoska
    • 3
  • Jenny Morris
    • 3
  • Gael Holters
    • 4
  • Sharelle Ioannou
    • 3
  • Verily Thomas
    • 3
  • Bronwyn Everett
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Applied Nursing Research, SWSLHD Ingham Institute for Applied Medical ResearchLiverpoolAustralia
  2. 2.School of Nursing & MidwiferyUniversity of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia
  3. 3.Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital & SWSLHDBankstownAustralia
  4. 4.St. George Hospital & SESLHDKogarahAustralia

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