I need to make an appointment for a non-COVID-19 health condition. Is it safe to come to the hospital? Answers to this and other FAQs about how Mass General is prepared to provide general care to patients.
The recommendations below reflect some of the initiatives currently underway at Massachusetts General Hospital to ensure an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is by no means a comprehensive list but instead offers a starting point for hospitals working to ensure equity.
Facilitate Communication for Patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
- Ensure that COVID-19 patient hotlines are equipped to communicate with patients who speak languages other than English
- Provide updates on COVID-19 related policies and guidelines in multiple languages
- Disseminate information to patients with LEP through various platforms to reach as many patients as possible (website, text messaging, etc)
- Develop uniform processes for language translation and distribution across the hospital system
- Create a registry of multilingual clinical staff to support patient-facing COVID-19 operations
Ensure Equitable Access to Information for Employees with Limited English Proficiency
Identify and implement mechanisms to share information with employees who may not have regular access to email
Provides updates on COVID-19 related policies and guidelines in multiple languages
Coordinate information sessions in multiple languages for employees (e.g., Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition Services, etc)
Ensure Equitable Access to Information and Appropriate Services for Patients with Disabilities
- Ensure that COVID-19 patient hotlines are equipped to connect patients with disabilities to staff with expertise in the areas needed to address their individual needs
- Ensure that interpreter services are available for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Stock surgical masks with clear windows, designed to enhance clear communication, particularly for use with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing
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