A new study published in the JAMA Network Open sought to identify EMS-perceived barriers and facilitators to providing high-quality prehospital care for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP).
Over 30 EMS providers were surveyed who described various barriers to high-quality care during their prehospital emergency response for patients with LEP. These providers were unaware that these barriers impacted quality of care.
Barriers which may contribute to outcome disparities and overutilization of resources included:
Some facilitators to optimal care included:
Due to this, many EMS providers reported transporting LEP patients to hospitals regardless of illness severity due to concern for miscommunication and unrecognized problems. Researchers on this study suggest future work should focus on the development of targeted interventions to improve modifiable barriers to care, such as improving interpretation and cultural humility and increasing trust.
Investigators on this study represent: The Department of Surgery, University of CA, Davis; Department of Surgery, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center at University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SOM); Physical Sciences division at the University of Washington, Bothell; UW School of Social Work; King County Medic One, Seattle, WA.