The Disparities Solutions Center at MGH and Abt Associates, Inc. in Cambridge, MA, were awarded a four year contract by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop tools to reduce medical errors and improve care for limited English proficiency (LEP) patients in hospitals. The project used a robust mixed methods approach to:

  1. Identify the role of language and cultural barriers on patient safety events,
  2. document how hospitals are addressing the safety of LEP and culturally diverse patients, and
  3. provide guidance and tools for how hospitals can address these issues.

The final products include a Hospital Guide and a TeamSTEPPS Training Module focused on improving team communication to reduce medical errors for LEP patients.

The Hospital GuideImproving Patient Safety Systems for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: A Guide for Hospitals” provides quality and safety leaders within hospitals with a variety of key guidelines and strategies for identifying, reporting, and addressing medical errors that occur as a result of language barriers in LEP and culturally diverse patients. The Guide also provides hospital leaders with systems-level information on how to develop reporting systems that can successfully capture medical errors that predominantly affect LEP patients, as well as modalities that can be implemented to prevent errors for LEP and culturally diverse patients. The TeamSTEPPS training module is designed for the full interprofessional care team, including interpreters, and includes a case-based video vignette of an LEP patient in the emergency room. The goal of the Module is to help the interprofessional care team acquire the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors needed to reduce the number and severity of patient safety events that affect LEP and culturally diverse patients.

Visit the site to view the full offering of tools and resources that are free and available online.

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