Closing the Language Gap in TCM

Closing Gap Pic


Language barriers within the healthcare industry keep patients from asking essential questions and leave them feeling lost when processing post-operation instructions

One study showed that among patients who received treatment from nurses who did not speak their language, 30% had difficulty understanding medical instructions. 30% had a problem with the reliability of the information, and 50% believed that the language barrier contributed to errors.

Lower Your Overall Claims Costs

Setting up times to review information with injured workers is crucial to avoid further claims costs. Some strategies can include discussing any medical allergies the patient has, going over the pros and cons of anesthesia, discussing pain medication post-surgery, reviewing signs and symptoms of common post-op problems, instruction in proper dressing change, and reviewing post-operation activities and instructions provided by the doctor. 

The Power of Telephonic Case Management

Navigating through a complex healthcare system is a challenging experience for anyone. Especially for non-English speaking injured workers, who may not have the support system needed to help with simple, yet necessary tasks such as changing wound dressings. How do you support your staff when they need it most? Call Ascential Care Partners, whose SX DIRECT program supports injured workers’ unique and often complex pre- and post-surgical needs.

In a recent case, SX Direct nurse Shelley Edney, RN CCM was assigned to a claim for an injured worker who had sustained a finger injury that was surgically repaired. Shelley was assigned because the injured worker was not improving – he was getting worse postoperatively. The injured worker had a lot of swelling, redness, and significant drainage and pus coming from the finger.

Shelley called the doctor, who told her he would need to consider amputation at this point. The doctor felt that the injured worker was not following instructions for dressing changes, and the doctor was unhappy with the non-compliance. Shelley spoke with the injured worker, who was Spanish speaking, and she asked him to describe how he was changing his dressings. He said he was using the liquid from a brown bttle, which Shelley realized was hydrogen peroxide. Shelley explained how he should change his dressings and how often. Thanks to Shelley’s thorough explanation, he confirmed his understanding.


But she didn’t just stop there! Shelley called him at least once every day for a week to guide him through each dressing change. As a result of her persistence, Shelley was able to get him to three dressing changes per day. 

Two weeks later, the injured worker went to the doctor. The doctor was amazed at the improvement in the finger – no swelling, no drainage, and just slightly red. The injured worker healed completely and returned to full duty four weeks after Shelley was initially assigned. An inevitable amputation was avoided! The doctor was pleased, the injured worker regained complete function, and the employer was glad to have their worker back.

To learn more about what Ascential Care Partners is doing to bridge the healthcare gap, ask about our Case Management and SX Direct programs by contacting us at 941-778-2273.