Are language barriers associated with serious medical events in hospitalized pediatric patients?
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
This study demonstrated an increased risk of adverse events in certain patients reporting a language barrier. Using a case-control design, investigators discovered similar event rates among patients requesting interpreter services, but a subgroup of Spanish-speaking patients requesting such services experienced a higher event rate. While the study suggests a potential relationship between language barriers and adverse events, the study design only offers an associative relationship rather than a causative one. Regardless, the authors advocate for continued research to better understand how improved interpreter services could reduce the potential for errors.