As the population in the United States grows and diversifies, knowing more than one language has become more beneficial than ever. The healthcare industry, specifically, heavily relies on the ability to create effective communication, which can become challenging if we are unable to understand each other. As of 2015, there were approximately 56 million Hispanic people living in the United States, which represents 17% of the total population. Approximately 73% of the Hispanic population speaks Spanish, and for 20% it is their only language. The Hispanic population makes up the largest minority group in the United States, and Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language throughout the country.
In the state of Arizona, nearly 32% of the population identifies as Hispanic, and 20% of households report speaking in Spanish at home – which is higher than the average for the rest of the country -. In Phoenix, the Hispanic community makes up 41% of the total population.
Bilingual answering services provide an effective solution to any communication issues caused by the language barrier. For patients who might be in a vulnerable position, being able to speak and be spoken to in their native language provides a sense of relief, security, and trust that can’t be achieved through other means, such as the use of interpreters.
The demand for bilingual healthcare providers is amongst the highest in any field. Additionally, answering services are gaining popularity across many industries, including healthcare. These services can make users feel more comfortable during trying times, and it’s also a way to ensure that your communication with them is more efficient, while minimizing the possibility of errors.
Customer satisfaction and quality of care are greatly improved when providers seek to offer bilingual services. In addition to creating a more comfortable experience, bilingual healthcare services decrease liability. Particularly for services that operate in areas with large minority populations, providing bilingual healthcare services shows your clients that you care about their comfort and security.
It’s no coincidence that the federal Agency for Healthcare and Quality has reported that patients who have limited proficiency in English have a higher risk of injury, delayed diagnoses, and longer hospital stays all due to errors in communication. These situations have been found to lead to serious harm and even lawsuits more frequently than they do for English-speaking patients.
By using a bilingual healthcare service, you ensure that customers will have access to the information they need, in a language that they can understand. It also makes it more likely that customers will choose your services if they know that there will be a friendly voice that speaks their language on the other side of the line.
Using answering services also allows you to reduce the costs that would be associated with hiring full-time bilingual staff. Answering services are quickly becoming the first line of communication for many businesses, and this initial contact can set the tone for the rest of the user’s experience. They provide a way to create a trustworthy, comfortable, and safe environment for your clients.