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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Association between parent comfort with English and adverse events among hospitalized children.

Khan A, Yin HS, Brach C, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;Epub Oct 20.

Language barriers between patients and providers is a potential contributor to adverse events. Based on a cohort of 1,666 Arabic-, Chinese-, English-, and Spanish-speaking parents of general pediatric and subspeciality patients 17 years and younger, this study examined the association between parents with limited comfort with English (LCE) and adverse events in hospitalized children. Compared with children of parents who expressed comfort or proficiency with English, children of parents who expressed LCE had significantly higher odds of experiencing an adverse event, including preventable events. Future research should focus on strategies to improve communication and safety for this vulnerable group of children.