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Can Language Barriers in Health Care Lead to Adverse Events?

A preview of two cases to be discussed at the upcoming 2010 IMIA Conference

Minimizing risk is a crucial piece of any hospital’s or provider’s work: though medicine is inherently unpredictable, they all follow programs, procedures, and plans designed to make treatments effective and reduce the chances of harming patients or providing services that stimulate lawsuits. Barbara Lightizer, MS, MA, CPHRM, director of Risk Management, Patient Relations and Interpreter Services at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, uses this definition of risk management: “The process of making and carrying out decisions that will help prevent adverse consequences and minimize the negative effects of accidental losses on an individual or an organization.” So how do interpreters for low English proficiency (LEP) patients fit into the risk management picture at hospitals and providers’ offices? Read the rest of this entry »

"IMIA Conference Boasts Diversity of Specialized Workshops"

Excerpt from the IMIA Website: The Link to the Original Article Below…

“Cambridge, MA, August 18, 2010

The International Medical Interpreter Association boasts 48 workshops for its Annual Conference to be held September 3-5, 2010 at the Harvard Medical School Conference Center in Boston.

A record number of abstract submissions were submitted by nationally and internationally recognized experts, to be presented in 45-minute workshops over the course of the three day event.  “There’s something for everyone” says IMIA Vice President Anita Coelho Diabate on the offerings Read the rest of this entry »