Do you have patients who speak languages you don’t? Whether your patients don’t speak the same languages as you and your staff, or if they’re just most comfortable speaking in their native tongue, being able to successfully communicate is essential in delivering the care your patients need and deserve.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to take the time to learn a whole new language (although doing so is certainly a worthwhile endeavor!). Delta Dental offers interpreters via telephone, on-site interpretation services and more through our Language Assistance Program (LAP).
LAP is here to help
Delta Dental’s Language Assistance Program is an invaluable tool when it comes to communicating with patients who may not share any languages with you or your staff. LAP is available free of charge to all Delta Dental enrollees and includes the following benefits. We strongly encourage you to refer your patients to the LAP page on our website.
- Customer Service phone assistance in over 170 languages
- Professional interpretive services, including in-person interpretation
- Written materials in non-English languages (and accessible formats)
- And more!
Providing care to Spanish speakers
Did you know that, after English, Spanish is the most commonly reported language spoken by Delta Dental enrollees? More than any other language, a non-English-speaking patient of yours is likely to speak Spanish. That’s why we’ve put together extra resources to help you communicate with these patients.
- The Delta Dental website is available in Spanish
- LAP information is available in Spanish
- We’ve even got an English-to-Spanish phrase book!
Steps you can take to boost your skills
There are steps you and your staff can take to make communication easier and to create a more welcoming environment for your patients. We recommend these strategies:
- Attend classes and continuing education courses that address the social customs among your patients’ different cultures.
- Document your practice’s protocols for working with cultural differences and make sure all of your staff are familiar with it.
- Allow time to make sure that your patients understand you and the care you recommend for them. Be ready to answer questions and don’t be afraid to ask some of your own.
- Familiarize yourself with professional interpretive services and resources available in your community to assist your patients.
- And finally, ask your patients and their accompanying relatives and friends how you can create a more comfortable environment.