Effective Communications in Hospitals Initiative

Good medical care depends upon effective communication between doctors and patients. Currently, hospitals face greater than ever challenges in trying to meet the needs of persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) or who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.

In 2006, KHA joined the American Hospital Association and the Office for Civil Rights, of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, in their efforts to overcome those challenges and to address the growing needs of its member hospitals.

The Effective Communication in Hospitals Initiative is a nationwide undertaking in which 14 hospital associations, including Kentucky’s, are actively participating. 

Increasingly, issues associated with language, literacy, culture and other aspects of diversity are being tied to quality and patient safety concerns. The links provided here contain tools and free information to support hospitals as they work to ensure effective communication and the highest quality care for patients who are LEP, deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.

This toolkit includes many resources to help you better communicate with LEP patients:

  • Immigrant vs. Refugee – What is the Difference
  • Compliance/Accreditation From a Language Services Point of View
  • Interpretation vs. Translation
  • Types of Interpretation
  • Communications Coordinator Resources

Learn More

Resources and tools for interpreters and translators, including:
  • KHA Medical Visual Language Translator
  • Vital Documents
  • Hospital Accreditation Requirements

Learn More
Communication with patients can be improved and patient care enhanced if health care providers can bridge the divide between the culture of medicine and the beliefs and practices that make up patients’ value systems. These may be based on ethnic heritage, nationality of family origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. Every health care encounter provides an opportunity to have a positive effect on patient health. Health care providers can maximize this potential by learning more about patients’ cultures.
Guides Reports
Below are links that will direct you to webinars and training videos on health literacy. Some will require you to set up an account, but most are available at no charge. Those that do have a fee are indicated (to the best of KHA’s knowledge).