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This descriptive, survey-based study extends earlier research by exploring how Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) across the nation provide Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) for their patients.
Personal emails announcing a national electronic survey of CAHs in 45 states were sent to 968 of the 1,329 CAHs in the United States (73%). The survey was completed by 137 of the 1,329 CAHs (14.15% participation rate, 10.3% of all CAHs).
CAHs with larger non-White or non-English speaking patient populations had a greater variety and more frequent use of language services than CAHs that served less diverse populations. CAHs that collected cultural and linguistic information from patients were significantly more likely to have mechanisms in place to ensure this information followed the patient throughout the continuum of care. CAHs that collected cultural and linguistic information from patients offered significantly more mechanisms to address their patients’ cultural and linguistic needs. CAHs with larger non-White or non-English speaking populations were significantly more likely to employ FTEs related to CLAS than CAHs that served less diverse populations. CAHs with larger non-White or non-English speaking populations were not significantly more likely to provide CLAS training than CAHs that served less diverse populations.
Collection of patient demographic information may relate to use of that information in the patient’s healthcare encounter. Location in a diverse population may not be an indicator of the CAHs provision of CLAS services.