Language differences as a barrier to quality and safety in health care: the Joint Commission perspective

J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Nov;22 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):360-1. doi: 10.1007/s11606-007-0365-3.


Effective communication with patients is critical to the safety and quality of care. Barriers to this communication include differences in language, cultural differences, and low health literacy. Evidence-based practices that reduce these barriers must be integrated into, rather than just added to, health care work processes.

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cultural Competency / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Humans
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
  • Language*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • United States