Removing Language Barriers for an Improved Patient Experience

To better address the needs of patients with limited English proficiency, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak is participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality: Language Quality Improvement Collaborative.

Although language services are so essential to high-quality care, there is little guidance for hospitals on the most effective ways to provide them to patients. With a growing population of patients for whom English is not their preferred spoken language, it is vital that hospitals can assess and improve the language services that are offered.

Funded by a $15,000 grant from the RWJF, Beaumont is one of nine hospitals participating in the national language initiative.

The Language Quality Improvement Collaborative is part of the Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality effort to raise the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform.

Beaumont is committed to providing the highest-quality care to all patients, regardless of their race, ethnicity or primary language. We are honored to be a part of this collaborative, which places us on the frontlines of efforts to improve communications between health care providers and patients.

Detroit was selected by the RWJF as one of five communities nationwide to serve as a learning laboratory for improving language services and the quality of care being delivered in a given region. The Greater Detroit Area Health Council is coordinating local efforts for the one-year program. Along with Beaumont, Royal Oak, Oakwood and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospitals are also participating in the language initiative. Beaumont and these hospitals will test new ideas, quantify results and share lessons learned with other hospitals locally and nationwide.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropic organization devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves.

Removing Language Barriers