Foreign-Language Interpreters May Reduce Duration of Hospital Stays for L.E.P. Patients
A recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School indicates that hospitalized L.E.P. (Limited English Proficiency) patients spend fewer days in the hospital when aided by professional interpreters. In addition, the study also found that patients with access to language services are also several times less likely to be readmitted to the hospital for the same ailments after their discharge.
Dr. Mary Lindholm, the author of the study, states that “not only does providing professional interpreters make good medical sense, so patients understand their diagnosis and the care they are receiving, but it also makes good economic sense for hospitals.” According to the Department of Health and Human Services the average inpatient visit lasts 4.6 days and costs $9,200.
Lindholm explains that by reducing the readmission rate and the length of stay, the use of professional medical interpreters could reduce the overall cost of care for hospitals.
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