Does spanish instruction for emergency medicine resident physicians improve patient satisfaction in the emergency department and adherence to medical recommendations?

Lisa R Stoneking, A. L. Waterbrook, J. Garst Orozco, D. Johnston, A. Bellafiore, C. Davies, T. Nuño, J. Fatás-Cabeza, Oscar Beita, V. Ng, K. H. Grall, W. Adamas-Rappaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: After emergency department (ED) discharge, Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency are less likely than English-proficient patients to be adherent to medical recommendations and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their visit. Objectives: To determine if integrating a longitudinal medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into emergency medicine residency didactics improves patient satisfaction and adherence to medical recommendations in Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency. Methods: Our ED has two Emergency Medicine Residency Programs, University Campus (UC) and South Campus (SC). SC program incorporates a medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into their didactics. Real-time Spanish surveys were collected at SC ED on patients who self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking during registration and who were treated by resident physicians from both residency programs. Surveys assessed whether the treating resident physician communicated in the patient’s native Spanish language. Follow-up phone calls assessed patient satisfaction and adherence to discharge instructions. Results: Sixty-three patients self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking from August 2014 to July 2015 and were initially included in this pilot study. Complete outcome data were available for 55 patients. Overall, resident physicians spoke Spanish 58% of the time. SC resident physicians spoke Spanish with 66% of the patients versus 45% for UC resident physicians. Patients rated resident physician Spanish ability as very good in 13% of encounters – 17% for SC versus 5% for UC. Patient satisfaction with their ED visit was rated as very good in 35% of encounters – 40% for SC resident physicians versus 25% for UC resident physicians. Of the 13 patients for whom Spanish was the language used during the medical encounter who followed medical recommendations, ten (77%) of these encounters were with SC resident physicians and three (23%) encounters were with UC resident physicians. Conclusion: Preliminary data suggest that incorporating Spanish language and cultural competency into residency training has an overall beneficial effect on patient satisfaction and adherence to medical recommendations in Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Emergency department
  • Limited English proficiency (LEP)
  • Medical Spanish
  • Medical education
  • Patient satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medicine(all)

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