Objective: To describe differences in patient experiences of hospital care by preferred language within racial/ethnic groups.
Data source: 2014-2015 HCAHPS survey data.
Study design: We compared six composite measures for seven languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Other) within applicable subsets of five racial/ethnic groups (Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Blacks, and Whites). We measured patient-mix adjusted overall, between- and within-hospital differences in patient experience by language, using linear regression.
Data collection methods: Surveys from 5 480 308 patients discharged from 4517 hospitals 2014-2015.
Principal findings: Within each racial/ethnic group, mean reported experiences for non-English-preferring patients were almost always worse than their English-preferring counterparts. Language differences were largest and most consistent for Care Coordination. Within-hospital differences by language were often larger than between-hospital differences and were largest for Care Coordination. Where between-hospital differences existed, non-English-preferring patients usually attended hospitals whose average patient experience scores for all patients were lower than the average scores for the hospitals of their English-preferring counterparts.
Conclusions: Efforts should be made to increase access to better hospitals for language minorities and improve care coordination and other facets of patient experience in hospitals with high proportions of non-English-preferring patients, focusing on cultural competence and language-appropriate services.
Keywords: patient assessment; quality of care (measurement); survey research.
© 2019 The Authors. Health Services Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Health Research and Educational Trust.