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      A review of patient safety communication in multicultural and multilingual healthcare settings with special attention to the U.S. and Canada

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          The present work aims to raise awareness of the issue of patient safety communication in multicultural and multilingual healthcare settings and to present strategies on how to overcome emerging cultural and language barriers and enable healthcare providers to reduce the risk of miscommunication, prevent inequalities and disparities, and provide their patients with safe and quality care. It also strives to present the policies and measures the United States and Canada have implemented and the strategies U.S. experts have developed to advance effective communication between provider and patient.

          Methods

          The literature review was conducted on academic works and publications by health associations, institutes of health, and government departments in topics such as adverse events in health care and strategies to reduce cross-cultural miscommunications and on guides for hospitals.

          Results/Discussion

          Cultural diversity in a patient population, language barriers, and a lack of effective communication can impose an increased threat on an individual's health. In order to radically decrease the incidence of adverse events, policies and systems on how to manage multinational and multilingual medical environments should be created at a national level. Cultural competence is also key to delivering care that meets patients' social and cultural needs; furthermore, developing a language access plan and providing language assistance (interpretation, translation) for those in need can greatly contribute to providing quality care.

          Conclusions

          Clear communication is key to quality care and patient safety in multicultural and multilingual healthcare environments, but to significantly reduce the incidence of adverse events, policies and systems should be created at a national level.

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          Author and article information

          Contributors
          Journal
          2066
          Developments in Health Sciences
          DHS
          Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
          2630-9378
          2630-936X
          18 November 2021
          Affiliations
          [1] Department of Languages for Specific Purposes, Semmelweis University , Budapest, Hungary
          Author notes
          [* ]Corresponding author. Department of Languages for Specific Purposes, Semmelweis University , 15 Ferenc tér, H-1094, Budapest, Hungary. E-mail: horvath.agnes@ 123456se-etk.hu
          Article
          10.1556/2066.2021.00041
          50467911-bc0e-4df7-a2c4-a19dae5779f2
          © 2021 The Author(s)

          Open Access. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated. (SID_1)

          Page count
          Equations: 0, References: 56, Pages: 09
          Custom metadata
          1

          Medicine,Immunology,Health & Social care,Microbiology & Virology,Infectious disease & Microbiology
          communication barriers,translations,culturally competent care,health services accessibility,patient safety

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