TJ Samson Implements formal Language Access Plan

By: Fida Georges
By: Fida Georges

TJ Samson is the only hospital in the South Central Kentucky area and the only one of similar size in the state to implement a formal Language Access Plan.

Hospitals say falsely interpreting a foreign language can be a matter of life or death - in an emergency situation. It also accompanies patient safety and hospital liability complications.

That's why Glasgow's TJ Samson hospital invested a lot of time and energy in their language access plan.

The hospital currently has a team of four trained and certified interpreters.

Bilingual signs, forms, and documents around the hospital leave no room for miscommunication..something hospitals say can lead to hefty liabilities and compromise patient safety.

Spanish isn't the only language, Chinese and Japanese have been added to the plan after the hospital assessed language needs in the community.

Patient advocate director Deborah London says this provides a safe environment for those seeking treatment one that can save both patients and health-care staff money and headaches in the long run.

Access Plan Coordinator Juan Gutierrez says patients not only feel less intimidated when it comes to health-care, but they now take their treatments one step further. They now find the appropriate financial resources and health-care literature for their treatment.

Hospital administrators say they've experienced an increase in patients and received a lot of positive feedback since the language access plan's inception this past December.

They also say other hospitals have expressed interest in using their plan as a model for implementing similar programs in their hospitals.

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