Hospitals Hire To Keep Up With Growing Diversity, Tech Challenges
"As more immigrants crowd its waiting rooms, Elmhurst Hospital is joining a growing number of hospitals in New York and across the country that are going beyond hiring interpreters and offering translated paperwork and are adopting practices intended to improve care for an increasingly diverse patient population," The New York Times reports. "Doctors and nurses are interviewing religious leaders, visiting cultural centers and even traveling abroad to better understand their patients. The lessons are redefining traditional notions of health care not just in immigrant hubs like New York, California and Texas, but also in places like Storm Lake, Iowa, a city of 12,000 that has been transformed by an influx of Hispanics who work in the area's meatpacking plants" (Santos, 9/6).
Also new to hospital staffs: "Scribes are filling a necessary niche as doctors make the wrenching transition from old-fashioned paper charts to 21st century electronic medical records," the Los Angeles Times reports. "The computerized system is supposed to make doctors more efficient and ensure better care for patients. Congress has such faith in the value of electronic medical records that it provided as much as $27 billion over 10 years to encourage doctors to use them, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will penalize those who don't by cutting their reimbursement rates as much as 5%" (Meyer, 9/6).