RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDRESSING EQUITY IN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE

1.

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.

2.

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).

3.

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 communicationparticularly for use with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The recommendations below reflect some of the initiatives currently underway at Mass General 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.

Contact Us

The Disparities Solutions Center

100 Cambridge St., Suite 1600

Boston, MA 02114

(617) 724-7658

disparitiessolutions@partners.org

 

The DSC is located on Massachusett land. 

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