Achieving Quality in Health Care Through Language Access Services: Lessons from a California Public Hospital


Leah S. Karliner, Sunita Mutha

Jan 2010

Provision of language services is central to the delivery of equitable, safe, high-quality health care for patients with limited English proficiency. However, there are many barriers to ensuring access to such services. We analyzed the experience of a model language service program at a public hospital to develop recommendations applicable to all hospitals that wish to create an effective language service program. Our case study demonstrates that with organizational commitment, early information technology involvement, attention to clinical needs, active engagement of stakeholders, and coordinated project management, it is possible to provide high-quality language services in a setting of financial constraints.