80% of Physicians Believe Access to Multi-Lingual Resources is Important to Their Practice
Waltham, Mass. March 2, 2011 - QuantiaMDR, the leading online physician community, has announced the results of an informative language study. 4,986 physician members of QuantiaMD's mobile and online community participated in an interactive study regarding non-English patient resources, and the results show an alarming disparity between current resources and what is necessary for optimal multi-lingual patient care.
The poll, completed in March, 2011, compiled results from members of QuantiaMD's unique online collaborative in which 1 in 6 U.S. physicians engage, share and learn from experts and each other. The platform enables clinicians from across the country to connect with their peers and access and respond to a wide variety of short-form interactive medical presentations through smartphones, tablets or personal computers.
Results showed that 80% of the physicians believed that having multi-lingual patient resources available was somewhat or very important. However, 65% of respondents felt that their current available patient resources were fair, poor or non-existent. These data highlight a growing national issue as results of the 2010 US Census show that minorities compose more than one-third of the U.S. population and have represented between 81% and 89% of the population growth since 2000. Older 2006 census figures showed 1 out of 5 U.S. residents speak a primary language other than English at home, and almost 1 in 10 reports an ability to speak English less than "very well."
"It is critical to the success of healthcare in the United States that patient materials be made available in multiple languages," said Cardiologist Victor Bonilla, MD, FACC, FSCAI, University of California, Davis. "Patient resources help patients understand their conditions, and, ultimately, this can save our country millions of dollars each year because
patients will have references which help them take better care of themselves."
The largest percentage of respondents, 81%, indicated that Spanish was the most needed language for new resources. This data echoes 2010 Census data which shows that Hispanics make up 16% of the U.S. population, with more than 34 million Spanish-speaking individuals living in the United States. The last 30 years of Census data show that Spanish speakers accounted for the largest increase in the number of people who speak a language other than English at home.
"Spanish is the second most common language spoken in the United States, making it critical to have Spanish materials available to patients," said Dr. Bonilla. "It is extremely difficult to explain a medical condition to a patient using materials that are not in their language and it can be very stressful and frightening for the patient."
Interestingly, QuantiaMD's data showed that the three most requested languages following Spanish were Mandarin, Hindi and Arabic.
"This study sheds light on a nationwide healthcare crisis," said Michael Paskavitz, Editor in Chief of QuantiaMD. The fact that we found 40% of physicians speak only English confirms that without proper multi-lingual resources, language barriers will continue to cause gaps in care."
QuantiaMDR is an online physician-to-physician learning collaborative where 1 in 6 U.S. physicians engage, share, and learn from experts and each other, free of charge. Through any computer, smartphone or mobile device, members visit QuantiaMD daily to engage with respected experts who deliver clinically relevant, unbiased content in a concise, interactive format to fit the busy schedules of today's physicians. QuantiaMDR is a branded service developed and operated by Quantia Communications, Inc., a privately held corporation headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, visit http://www.quantiamd.com.
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