Journal of Immigrant Health

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 171–176

Trained Medical Interpreters in the Emergency Department: Effects on Services, Subsequent Charges, and Follow-up

  • Judith Bernstein
  • Edward Bernstein
  • Ami Dave
  • Eric Hardt
  • Thea James
  • Judith Linden
  • Patricia Mitchell
  • Tokiko Oishi
  • Clara Safi
Article

Abstract

The study was conducted to investigate the impact of an Interpreter Service on intensity of Emergency Department (ED) services, utilization, and charges. This study describes the effects of language barriers on health care service delivery for the index ED visit and a subsequent 90-day period. In all 26,573 ED records from July to November, 1999, resulted in a data set of 500 patients with similar demographic characteristics, chief complaint, acuity, and admission rate. Noninterpreted patients (NIPs) who did not speak English had the shortest ED stay (LOS) and the fewest tests, IVs and medications; English-speaking patients had the most ED services, LOS, and charges. Subsequent clinic utilization was lowest for NIPs. Among discharged patients, return ED visit and ED visit charges were lowest for interpreted patients (IPs). Use of trained interpreters was associated with increased intensity of ED services, reduced ED return rate, increased clinic utilization, and lower 30-day charges, without any simultaneous increase in LOS or cost of visit.

translating communication barriers language emergency services 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Bernstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward Bernstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ami Dave
    • 2
  • Eric Hardt
    • 3
  • Thea James
    • 2
  • Judith Linden
    • 2
  • Patricia Mitchell
    • 2
  • Tokiko Oishi
    • 1
  • Clara Safi
    • 2
  1. 1.Boston University School of Public HealthBoston
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineBoston University School of MedicineBoston
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineBoston University School of MedicineBoston

Personalised recommendations