Language Access Services for Latinos with Limited English Proficiency

Lessons Learned from Hablamos Juntos

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 22, suppl. 2, Nov. 2007, p. 350-355

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2006

by Shin-Yi Wu, M. Susan Ridgely, Jose J. Escarce, Leo S. Morales

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BACKGROUND: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded Hablamos Juntos (HJ), a $10-million multiyear demonstration to improve access to health care for Latinos with limited English proficiency and to explore cost-effective ways for health care organizations to provide language access services. HABLAMOS JUNTOS: In this manuscript, the authors draw on their experiences in evaluating HJ, provide briefing descriptions of innovative interventions, estimate operating costs, and synthesize lessons learned about implementation. A number of barriers and facilitators are documented. CONCLUSION: The experience of HJ grantees provides guidance for organizations contemplating similar efforts. In particular, it highlights the need for health care organizations to involve physicians in the design and adoption of language services.

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