Return visits to the ER more likely for patients with limited English

From Reuters:

Patients in the emergency room who don’t speak English well are slightly more likely to return within days, suggesting their care the first time was not as good as it could have been, researchers say.

In a study in one New York hospital, about 4 percent of English speakers made an unplanned return to the ER within three days, compared to 5 percent of people with limited English.

Low use of professional translators may partly explain the disparity in care, the researchers report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“There’s a necessary but not sufficient step to providing care for people with low English proficiency . . . having a good interpreter or healthcare provider who can speak to them in their language,” said Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not part of the new study.

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