Posted By Lexington Writing Firm on 11/12/2021

Language Barrier Review: How Healthcare Content Can Better Engage and Empower Non-Native English Speakers

Language Barrier Review: How Healthcare Content Can Better Engage and Empower Non-Native English Speakers

More than 60 million Americans do not speak English at home, and a recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that patients with limited English proficiency are less likely to have a regular source of primary care and are less likely to receive preventive care. 

Providing translation — as well as clear, accessible content — can help drive growth and patient volume by decreasing the negative impacts of language barriers. At Lexington Writing Firm, our equity-focused process incorporates a language barrier review as an essential step in creating inclusive, trust-building content. 

What is language barrier review?

Language barrier review is a process of making it easier for non-native English readers to understand and translate content. It does this by eliminating jargon, clearly defining unfamiliar words or phrases, removing idioms and flagging words that have more than one meaning in English that may not translate well. Through this process, content is primed for translation.

Why is it important?

The results of a 2020 review analyzing the implications of language barriers for healthcare suggested that implementing online translation tools may improve the quality of healthcare and the level of satisfaction among both medical providers and patients.

Only 15 states’ Medicaid programs or Children’s Health Insurance Programs reimburse providers for language services, and neither Medicare nor private insurers routinely pay for such services.

By implementing a language barrier review, your content will be primed for translation, helping you engage and empower your non-native English-speaking patients.

How does it add value to healthcare content?

A language barrier review adds value in three key ways:

  1. Priming content for fast, efficient translation in the languages your organization needs

  2. Setting content up for better translation via Google Translate or other online tools

  3. Improving the overall experience for all non-native English speakers

For example, terms such as “cutting-edge” can be jarring to a non-native English speaker. Instead, we recommend a different phrase that is more clear and specific, such as “the most advanced” or “based on the latest research.” 

Additionally, the phrase “labor and delivery” does not translate well. A language barrier review enables us to identify and find opportunities to explain this within the copy.

Signs that your team would benefit from working with a language barrier reviewer? 

As a healthcare marketer or communicator, you may have never worked with a language barrier reviewer before. 

You may find it highly beneficial if you and your team are: 

  • Unsure if your content is accessible to non-native English speakers 

  • Aware that your patients use Google Translate for your website content

  • Working to expand your market share and need to establish or grow trust to do so 

  • Translating your content into one or more languages 

At Lexington Writing Firm, we have found language barrier review to be an invaluable process for our clients. That is why it is performed on all patient- and public-facing content that we create. 

Interested in how your organization could incorporate language barrier review into your content creation process? Want to create more inclusive, trust-building content? Email to learn more about our expertise. 

Connect with us on LinkedIn and Instagram. You can learn more about our equity-focused approach on our website.


The original version of this page was published at: