Trend: TX health systems address Hispanic influx

As Hispanic immigration rates increase, hospitals are finding that they need to adopt new practices and address new cultural issues, as well as cope with differing patterns of illness. That's particularly the case in some states, like Texas, where the population of Hispanic immigrants is substantial.

In Texas, where Hispanics could account for nearly 60 percent of the population within 30 years, the need is critical. Not only are hospitals increasingly adding top-to-bottom translation services, medical schools are teaching Spanish to doctors in training. What's more, physicians and health plans are paying special attention to diabetes, which is a noted problem among this population.

One Texas hospital system, Texas Health Resources, has made its entire website (www.texashealth.org) available in both Spanish and English versions.  Other hospitals are using translation phones, offering translated legal documents, conducting health education classes in Spanish and even offering Spanish-language reading materials in their waiting rooms.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Dallas Morning News piece

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