Creating a Safe, High-Quality Healthcare System for All: Meeting the Needs of Limited English Proficient Populations; Comment on “Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality: The Case for Language Access”

Document Type : Commentary


The Disparities Solutions Center at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA


The article by Cheri Wilson, “Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality: The Case for Language Access”, highlights 
the challenges of providing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) to patients with 
Limited English Proficiency (LEP). As the US pursues high-value, high-performance healthcare, our ability 
to meet the needs of our most vulnerable will determine whether we succeed or fail in the long run. With the 
implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this is more important than ever before, as it is estimated 
that the newly insured are more likely to be minority and less likely to speak English than their currently 
insured counterparts. As such, we must create a safe, high-quality healthcare system for all, especially in this 
time of incredible healthcare transformation and unprecedented diversity. Improving Patient Safety Systems for 
Patients With Limited English Proficiency: A Guide for Hospitals provides a blueprint for achieving this goal, 
and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is taking action.


Main Subjects

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8.  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, §18001 [internet]. 2010. Available  from:
9.  Agency  for  Healthcare  Research  and  Quality.  TeamSTEPPS® Enhancing Safety for Patients With Limited English Proficiency Module [internet].  Available  from:
10.  Green AR KK, Gall G. Providing Safe and Effective Care for Patients with Limited English Proficiency [internet]. The Disparities Solutions Center, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital,  Massachusetts  General  Hospital  Institute  of  Health Professions, and The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation; 2013. Available from: