41 million Spanish language speakers

41 Million Spanish-Speakers Seek Deeper Patient Engagement

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41 million Spanish-speaking individuals reside in the United States, making them the second-largest ethnic group in the country. With this number projected to grow, it is becoming important for medical practices to engage with Spanish-speaking patients.

One of the primary reasons for medical practices to engage with Spanish-speaker patients is due to the language barrier that often exists. For those who are not fluent in English, navigating the healthcare system can be incredibly challenging. This can lead to misunderstandings, missed diagnoses, and poor health outcomes. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Spanish-speaking patients are less likely to receive preventive care services, such as cancer screenings and vaccinations, due to language barriers.

Better Engagement

One of the ways medical practices can better engage with Spanish-speaking patients is by employing bilingual staff members. Having bilingual staff can help patients feel more comfortable and can help to bridge the communication gap. A study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health found that having bilingual staff members improved patient engagement and patient satisfaction and overall healthcare experience for Spanish-speaker patients.

Another important factor to consider when engaging with Spanish-speaking patients is cultural competency. Understanding cultural norms can help healthcare providers tailor care to meet their unique needs. For example, many Spanish-speaking individuals come from collectivist cultures, where family and community support are highly valued. This can impact their healthcare decisions, as they may prioritize the opinions of their family over those of their healthcare providers. 

Reasons for engaging with Spanish-speaking patients

A study published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved found that providers who were more culturally competent were more likely to provide patient-centered care and improve health outcomes.

Another critical reason why medical practices should engage with Spanish-speaking patients is due to the high rates of chronic disease within this population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanic adults are 50% more likely to die from diabetes than non-Hispanic white adults. They are also more likely to suffer from obesity, hypertension, and other chronic health conditions. 

Engaging with Spanish-speaking patients and providing them with the resources they need to manage their health can help to reduce the impact of chronic diseases.

Medical practices can better engage with such patients by providing health education materials in Spanish. With today’s various communication channels, this can include rich media like short-form videos, audio messaging via SMS, converting Spanish language articles into audio blogs, and other resources that explain complex health topics easily. 

By providing information in a patient’s native language, they are more likely to understand their health conditions, how to manage them, and how to prevent them. A study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health found that providing health education materials in Spanish improved patient knowledge and self-care behaviors.

Using HIPAA-compliant patient relationship management software allows medical practices to engage regularly instead of just before or after a visit. 

Reduce the impact of chronic diseases.

Medical practices must engage with Latin patients using innovative solutions to address healthcare disparities. According to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Spanish-speaking individuals are more likely to face healthcare disparities, such as lack of access to care and poorer health outcomes, than their English-speaking counterparts. By engaging with Spanish-speaking patients, medical practices can work to address these disparities and ensure that all patients receive the highest level of care possible.

Conclusion

In conclusion, engaging with Spanish-speaking patients is critical. The language barrier, cultural differences, high rates of chronic disease, and healthcare disparities that often exist within this population make it necessary for healthcare providers to take a more active role in engaging with Latin patients. By employing bilingual staff members, providing health education materials in Spanish, and improving cultural competency, practices can ensure that all patients, regardless of their ability to speak English, receive the best healthcare. 

Forty-One Million Spanish Speaking Individuals Look For Deeper Patient Engagement (English Audio)