Hospitals often ignore policies on using qualified medical interpreters.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Language barriers can lead to misunderstandings that increase risks of error. This magazine article highlights the frequent reliance on families, friends, and other nonprofessionals as translators in medical settings and discusses how lack of standards and insufficient reporting of errors related to interpreters, along with challenges to implementing programs, hinder progress in improving communication with non-English speaking patients.