When provided with a professionally trained interpreter, Spanish-speaking patients expressed very high levels of satisfaction with their emergency department visits.
This trial occurred in the emergency departments (ED) of a suburban and urban hospital in Central New Jersey; both were large hospitals with busy EDs. The authors divided each day into several time-blocks; those blocks were then assigned to control or treatment groups. During control time-blocks, ED patients were provided the hospital’s usual, ad hoc interpreter services. During treatment time-blocks, in addition to the hospital’s interpreter, a professionally trained interpreter was available. Immediately following each visit, patients and providers rated their satisfaction by completing a brief survey.
This study found that the services of a professionally trained Spanish-language interpreter greatly improved patient and provider satisfaction during ED visits.