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Evidence shows that effective communication between patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals is a critical component of providing high quality care. Providing individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) the means to communicate effectively with their health care providers is critical to improving their experience in the health care setting, the quality of care they receive, and their health outcomes. ("LEP" is the acronym for both "limited English proficiency" and "limited English proficient."The U.S. Census Bureau's operational definition of LEP is a patient's self-assessed ability to speak English less than "very well.")Yet, health care providers throughout the country have reported challenges, such as inadequate funding of language services, to be major barriers in providing LEP patients with high-quality care.
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