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Inpatient care experiences differ by preferred language within racial/ethnic groups

Objective: To describe differences in patient experiences of hospital care by preferred language within racial/ethnic groups.

Data Source: 20142015 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 patientmix adjusted overall, between and withinhospital differences in patient experience by language, using linear regression.

Data Collection Methods: Surveys from 5 480 308 patients discharged from 4517 hospitals 20142015.

Principal Findings: Within each racial/ethnic group, mean reported experiences for nonEnglishpreferring patients were almost always worse than their Englishpreferring counterparts. Language differences were largest and most consistent for Care Coordination. Withinhospital differences by language were often larger than betweenhospital differences and were largest for Care Coordination. Where betweenhospital differences existed, nonEnglishpreferring patients usually attended hospitals whose average patient experience scores for all patients were lower than the average scores for the hospitals of their Englishpreferring 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 nonEnglishpreferring patients, focusing on cultural competence and languageappropriate services.

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