Interpreter Services in Critical Care: Creating a Paradigm Shift
Johnson, Chacie L.
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There is a two fold nursing problem that lies central to the successful utilization of interpreter services in the acute/critical care setting for persons with limited English Proficiency (LEP). The first problem that exists is the absence of a specific guideline or a clinical algorithm for healthcare providers to follow when deciding which mode of interpreter services is appropriate for a LEP encounter and second, the inconsistency of reimbursement for interpreter services nationwide, which can affect provider attitude when caring for persons with LEP. In this article, it will discuss the indications for the algorithm development; in addition, explore current barriers that affect interpreter services utilization. A comprehensive literature review was completed, in order, to discover the potential benefits of the critical care interpreter services algorithm. Through an evidence-based approach, algorithm guidelines will emphasize the basic precepts of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, so that a healthcare provider will be able to implement critical decision making skill, that are needed, to assist in the choice of an appropriate interpreter service mode for any given LEP healthcare communication encounter. Recognizing that administrative issues such as cost containment, healthcare outcomes, and patient satisfaction are significant to the discussion of interpreter services, a case will be made, in light of these points, for the use of this critical care interpreter services algorithm in the acute care setting.