Skip to main content


Ranjani K. Paradise, Yoon Susan Choi, Linda Cundiff, Mursal Khaliif, Laura Nevill, Robert P. Marlin, Ffyona Patel, Elisa Friedman, The Language Services Documentation Tool: Documenting How Patient Language Needs Were Met During Clinical Encounters, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Volume 40, Issue 11,


With the recent, rapid growth of the limited-English-proficient (LEP) population in the United States,  , it has become increasingly important to determine how best to meet this population’s language needs during clinical encounters. It has been well demonstrated that communication barriers faced by LEP patients can have adverse effects on safety and quality of care. For example, studies comparing LEP patients to English-proficient patients have shown that LEP patients have longer hospital stays,  have more difficulty understanding medical situations and discharge instructions,    and are less likely to receive a follow-up appointment after an emergency department visit. 

LEP patients are also more likely to have problems with adherence to medications or experience medication complications.  , Moreover, adverse events for LEP patients are more likely to cause physical harm.