Tag Archive for urgent care facilities

U.S. government makes pledge to address health needs of minority groups

If you’re a member of a minority group in the U.S., chances are good that your healthcare, and consequently your health, are worse than that of the rest of the population. This includes everything from higher infant mortality rates to a greater likelihood of diabetes, heart disease and asthma to a shorter life expectancy.

In response, the U.S. government recently announced a first-of-its-kind plan focused on righting the imbalance and bringing parity to healthcare and healthcare access. It addresses the role to be played by doctors, federal health officials, and communities at large, and includes a wide spectrum of health-related objectives, including the following:

  • Increase by 10 percent the number of poor children who receive preventive dental care.
  • Hire local community health workers to help diabetics.
  • Enlist “promotoras,” the name given to community health workers who work with Spanish speakers.
  • Develop incentives to improve care for minority groups.
  • Conduct new studies regarding which treatments work best for minority groups.
  • Create a national online database of certified interpreters that doctors or hospitals can use for non-English-speaking patients.
  • Create state grants to measure and improve care for asthma.

The report also asserts that the funds to finance the multifaceted program would come from existing sources and so is not contingent upon current budget wrangling, which is good.

A promising declaration of purpose, the plan could surely have a beneficial impact in these needy communities. We look forward to seeing what happens from here.

Till next time,

Healthcare translation needs to be embraced by urgent care centers

Translation and localization are necessities in virtually every industry today. But maybe only in the healthcare sector can a failure here become a matter of life and death.

The challenge is that healthcare is in the midst of dramatic changes in how it is offered, paid for, and supported. One recent development that has been getting a good deal of attention lately is the rise of urgent care facilities as a cheaper, more convenient alternative to the traditional emergency room.

These facilities, sometimes called “docs in a box,” offer walk-in medical services and extended hours for those with non-life-threatening medical problems. Doctors provide the care, assisted by nurses, and most are open 365 days a year with insurance covering most services.

In most states, however, urgent care centers are not overseen by the Department of Health or other state agencies. This means things like services, staff credentials, and the hours of operation are not always clear. Also unclear is each center’s commitment to healthcare access for limited English proficient (LEP) audiences.

If urgent care centers are a trend that will endure, those operating them must remember the language needs of their. Otherwise, only those who speak English well are likely to benefit.

Good health!