Language-Concordant Care: A Qualitative Study Examining Implementation of Physician Non-English Language Proficiency Assessment


Maria Esteli Garcia, Mia Williams, Sunita Mutha, Lisa C. Diamond, Jane Jih, Margaret A. Handley, Sarita Pathak, and Leah S. Karliner

August 24, 2023

Clinicians who speak the language of the patients they care for can help increase access to care and improve patient health outcomes. Researchers, including Healthforce Center’s Director Sunita Mutha, looked at the barriers and facilitators to primary care physicians’ willingness to have their language skills assessed.

Central themes emerged that can inform health system interventions to standardize assessment of clinicians’ language skills with the goal of maximizing language-concordant care. Findings can inform health system interventions to standardize the requirements and process, increase transparency, provide resources for preparation and remediation, use messaging focused on patient care quality and safety, and incentivize participation.