Language Services Evaluation and Quality Improvement at Cambridge Health Alliance

Client: Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA)
Topic Areas: Healthcare delivery systems; Social determinants and immigrant health
Service: Participatory Evaluation

At Cambridge Health Alliance, 43% of primary care patients have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and prefer to receive medical care in a language other than English. Since 2011, ICH has worked with CHA’s Multicultural Affairs and Patient Services (MAPS) Department to support a range of language services evaluation and quality improvement initiatives. ICH analyzes electronic health record data to understand communication practices being used across CHA’s clinical sites, identifies focus areas for improvement, and collaborates with MAPS to promote best practices for LEP patient communication. ICH also conducts surveys with providers and patients to assess satisfaction with interpreter services, and uses a queuing model to determine the optimal staffing for CHA’s interpreter call center. By collaborating with ICH, CHA has been able to make data-driven decisions about interpreter staffing, vendor selection, and language services policies. ICH’s support has also enabled CHA to increase utilization of professional interpreters and decrease utilization of risky communication practices that can compromise safety and quality of care for LEP patients.

Related Resources

Language services QI poster presentation: MAPS-2018-QI-poster.pdf