Medical Technology-Based Communication Tools for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

Client: Bellevue Hospital Center Department of Emergency Medicine
Faculty: SJ Avery and Michael Mcgarvey
Team: Ranekka Bell, Jeanne Johnson, Yasmine Legendre, Nupur Nanavati-Fields, Meghan Shineman, Susan Walsh
Year: 2006
Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department (ED) requested a Wagner Capstone team to research available technologies to improve communication with LEP patients. Of the approximately 100,000 patients treated at Bellevue every year, more than 80 percent are from the City’s medically underserved population, which primarily consists of immigrants who do not speak English as their first language. Bellevue ED plans to implement a technology-based multicultural communication center to help LEP patients participate effectively in their plan of care. Ultimately, the system could help reduce existing disparities in immigrant health. The Capstone team identified vendors that provide technology-based interpretation services by submitting a Request For Information (RFI) to 40 vendors nationwide and conducting interviews with national and international healthcare and non-healthcare institutions dealing with multi-lingual clientele. The team scored and ranked the responses to the RFI and used its findings from the interviews to analyze strengths and weaknesses of suitable vendors.