Improving Communication Skills in Health Care Hospital reimbursements are linked to patient satisfaction surveys, which are directly related to interpersonal communication between provider and patient. In today’s health care environment, interactions are challenged by diversity — Limited English proficient (LEP) patients, medical interpreters, International Medical Graduate (IMG) physicians, nurses, and support staff. Accent modification training for ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2013
Improving Communication Skills in Health Care
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lynda Katz Wilner
    ESL RULES, Reisterstown, MD
    Successfully Speaking, Owings Mills, MD
  • Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker
    ESL RULES, Reisterstown, MD
    The Whittaker Group, Brookline, MA
  • Financial Disclosure: Lynda Katz Wilner is co-founder of ESL RULES, a division of Successfully Speaking, which publishes the ESL RULES materials. Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker is co-founder of ESL Rules. She is also Principal and owner of Whittaker Group.
    Financial Disclosure: Lynda Katz Wilner is co-founder of ESL RULES, a division of Successfully Speaking, which publishes the ESL RULES materials. Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker is co-founder of ESL Rules. She is also Principal and owner of Whittaker Group.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Lynda Katz Wilner has previously published in the subject area. Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Lynda Katz Wilner has previously published in the subject area. Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2013
Improving Communication Skills in Health Care
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2013, Vol. 20, 109-117. doi:10.1044/cds20.3.109
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2013, Vol. 20, 109-117. doi:10.1044/cds20.3.109

Hospital reimbursements are linked to patient satisfaction surveys, which are directly related to interpersonal communication between provider and patient. In today’s health care environment, interactions are challenged by diversity — Limited English proficient (LEP) patients, medical interpreters, International Medical Graduate (IMG) physicians, nurses, and support staff. Accent modification training for health care professionals can improve patient satisfaction and reduce adverse events. Surveys were conducted with medical interpreters and trainers of medical interpreting programs to determine the existence and support for communication skills training, particularly accent modification, for interpreters and non-native English speaking medical professionals. Results of preliminary surveys suggest the need for these comprehensive services. 60.8% believed a heavy accent, poor diction, or a different dialect contributed to medical errors or miscommunication by a moderate to significant degree. Communication programs should also include cultural competency training to optimize patient care outcomes. Examples of strategies for training are included.

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