Purpose: To understand the healthcare team's perceptions of the negative consequences of suboptimal communication and their recommendations to improve communication with patients and families who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Materials and methods: We performed a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews of physicians, nurses, and interpreters from 3 ICUs at Mayo Clinic Rochester, between November 2017 and April 2018. Results: We identified 5 consequences of suboptimal communication: 1) Suboptimal assessment and treatment of patient symptoms, 2) Unmet patient and family expectations, 3) Decreased patient autonomy, 4) Unmet end of life wishes and 5) Clinician Distress. Recommendations to improve communication include: 1) Education and training for patients,families, clinicians and interpreters, 4) Greater integration of interpreters into the ICU team 5) Standardized timeline for goals of care conversations with patients and families with LEP. Conclusions: Patients with LEP are at risk of experiencing suboptimal communication with the healthcare team in the ICU. There are several educational and quality improvement strategies that ICUs and institutions can take to mitigate these issues.
- Intensive care unit
- Language barriers
- Limited English proficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine