As technology moves forward it must take LEP patients with it

You would have to be living in cave to avoid the discussion of healthcare and healthcare reform these days. It is everywhere it seems. Not surprisingly, some of the debate is focusing on how technology should best figure in helping healthcare reinvent itself.

Recently President Obama visited the Cleveland Clinic, identifying the facility as a great example of how medical facilities can incorporate appropriate technology to improve care while cutting costs. But there are other examples, including what’s being called “virtual care.” Sites like American Well represent a new way of looking at patient care.

Based in Boston, American Well seeks to give consumers and physicians a new way to come together for the purpose of receiving and dispensing what it calls “convenient and immediate healthcare services.” By exploiting the Web and digital telephony technology, the idea is to bring healthcare right into patients’ homes.

As an English-speaking patient myself, I’m excited about the prospect for such innovations. As one who anticipates the needs of limited English proficient (LEP) patients, I’m concerned that their needs don’t figure in the development of such technological advancements.

American Well does offer language choices, but the site does not identify what they are. And the fact that the site itself is only in English would made it difficult for a great many to know that the resources offered are also offered to them. And that gesture is a necessary piece for true and meaningful healthcare access.

Good health!

About the author:  Reymond the Marketing Manager and is the administrator for VIA's Speaking Healthcare blog and claims no authorship over this post. Read more from this author

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