A new study has revealed that telemedicine is leaving behind non-English speakers. This is a problem because it means that these individuals are not able to access the same level of care as those who speak English. The "telemedicine leaves behind non-English speakers study" found that this disparity exists even when both groups have insurance coverage.
There are several reasons why this happens.
First, many telemedicine platforms only offer their services in English. This means that non -English speakers may not be able to understand the platform or navigate it properly.
The "telemedicine leaves behind non-English speakers study" also showed that even if a platform offers translation services, they may not be accurate enough to be useful for medical purposes.
Perhaps most importantly, many healthcare providers do not feel comfortable communicating with patients in a language other than English especially when it comes to complex medical topics.
The coronavirus outbreak has highlighted long-standing disparities in health care for Latinx communities and exacerbated socioeconomic and linguistic barriers to accessing care. The coronavirus hit Latinx communities particularly hard, exacerbating existing inequities. Telehealth may follow the path of inequality if changes aren’t made.
So what can we do about this problem?
One solution is to develop more bilingual and multilingual telemedicine platforms. Training should also be available for healthcare providers on how to effectively communicate with patients in a language they might not be familiar with.
How Telemedicine Leaves Behind Non-English Speakers, Study Shows
In recent years, telemedicine has become an increasingly popular way for patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their own homes. However, a new study has found that telemedicine may not be as accessible for non-English speakers.
Limited English speakers have struggled to access telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis, according to new reports. This could have impacted their access to healthcare. Experts had worried this would happen when healthcare organizations switched to using teleconferencing instead of physical appointments.
The "telemedicine leaves behind non-English speakers study," which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at data from more than 1,000 patients who had used a video visit service at UCSF between 2014 and 2016.
The researchers found that only about one-third of telemedicine visits were conducted in a language other than English and that non-English speakers were less likely to use the video visit service than English speakers.
In addition, non-English speakers who did use the service were more likely to have longer wait times and to receive care from a provider who spoke a different language.
The study also found that immigrants and those who are uninsured are less likely to use telemedicine.
Over 20% of Americans speak another language other than English. This percentage is set to grow, as 90% of America’s current population is from immigrants.
The authors noted that in California, 44% of the population spoke languages other than English and that Spanish speakers are the most underrepresented in the healthcare field.
This is a problem because it means that many non-English speakers are not able to take advantage of this growing technology.
There are many potential benefits of telemedicine, including increased access to care, improved patient outcomes, and lower costs. However, if telemedicine is not accessible to non-English speakers, then these benefits will not be realized.
The findings are worrisome because they suggestthat telemedicine is not accessible to everyone. This digital divide has real-life consequences.
Patients who don't speak English may have more difficulty scheduling appointments, communicating with their doctor, and understanding instructions.
There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that language barriers in healthcare can lead to worse health outcomes. The study suggests that telemedicine may inadvertently be exacerbating these disparities.
The study's lead author, Professor Denise Payan, said that the findings highlight the need for telemedicine providers to be more aware of the language barriers that exist for non-English speakers.
"Our findings underscore the importance of considering language needs when developing and implementing telemedicine services," Payan said.
The study's authors say that providers should consider offering bilingual services and should make sure that their websites and promotional materials are available in multiple languages to make sure that everyone can benefit from this technology.
The findings of the study were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
During a surge in cases of coronavirus, most health care at a major university hospital shifted to telehealth. Due to regulatory restrictions, healthcare is now delivered through telephone and video platforms.
While telemedicine has allowed for remote health care, it has also created barriers for limited English proficiency (LEP) patients who may not have easy access to computers or smartphones, or may not feel comfortable using the internet.
Telemedicine is convenient for some people: it cuts down on the drive time, the wait in a doctor’s office, and the time it takes to schedule appointments. But telehealth isn’t accessible to the 25 million Americans who speak English as a second language and are more likely to live below the poverty line.
Even if they were able to get online, most of the systems supporting telemedicine — such as the hospital portal or video-visit platform — are too difficult to access for someone who only speaks another language.
The findings of the "telemedicine leaves behind non-English speakers study" are concerning because they suggest that LEP individuals are not able to access the same level of care as those who speak English.
The study found that many telemedicine platforms only offer their services in English so patients may not be able to understand the platform or navigate it properly.
Even if a platform offers translation services, they may not be accurate enough to be useful for medical purposes.
Most importantly, many healthcare providers do not feel comfortable communicating with patients in a language other than English.
So what can we do about this problem?
One solution is to develop more bilingual and multilingual telehealth platforms.
Upvio's scheduling and telehealth software is an example of such a solution. It can aid in improving communication and coordination among team members, leading to increased efficiency and productivity, regardless of team size. Upvio's telehealth platform provides a complete solution for medical, health and wellness practices, government agencies and enterprises looking to commence, expand, or focus more on telehealth.
By using Upvio's telehealth platform, healthcare providers can ensure that they are providing accessible, high-quality care to LEP individuals. The platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible in multiple languages, ensuring that patients can easily navigate and understand the system. Furthermore, Upvio's platform offers accurate translation services that are useful for medical purposes.
If you are a medical, health and wellness practice, government agency or enterprise currently using a variety of technology tools for the “Jobs to be done” or currently not using technology tools to complete “Jobs to be done,” Upvio's telehealth platform is the perfect solution to improve your communication and productivity. For established medical centers, practices and hospitals looking to commence, expand or focus more on telehealth, Upvio offers a complete solution that can be easily integrated into existing systems.
In conclusion, Upvio's telehealth platform provides an effective solution to the challenges faced by LEP individuals who may not have easy access to telehealth services due to language barriers. It offers a complete solution for medical, health and wellness practices, government agencies and enterprises looking to commence, expand, or focus more on telehealth. With Upvio's telehealth platform, healthcare providers can ensure that they are providing accessible, high-quality care to all patients, regardless of their language proficiency. So why wait? Get started today!