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A Q-rounds™ Perspective: Addressing Language Barriers in Pediatric Asthma Care

Chelsea Klevesahl

Chelsea Klevesahl

Co-founder, COO


Language barriers can significantly impact the healthcare experiences of children with asthma, particularly when their caregivers prefer languages other than English. In a recent study published in Pediatrics, the association between caregiver non-English language preference and increased healthcare utilization for children with asthma was explored. This article aims to shed light on these findings and discuss how Q-rounds™, can play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges faced by caregivers and non-English speaking caregivers.

Key Findings:

The study, led by Mickey Emmanuel, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., revealed compelling insights into the disparities in healthcare usage among children with asthma based on caregiver language preference. The research, utilizing data from the DC Pediatric Asthma Registry, analyzed electronic medical records of 14,431 patients, aged 2 to 17 years, during and before the year 2019.

“Caregiver language preference has been a significant determinant for asthma-related health care utilization.” Mickey Emmanuel, MD, told Healio.

Among the 8.1% of caregivers with a non-English language preference, their children exhibited a higher likelihood of unscheduled asthma-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and ICU visits. Even after controlling for various factors, including age, ethnicity, insurance status, and primary care provider encounters, the association between caregiver language preference and increased healthcare utilization remained significant.

Q-rounds™ as a Supportive Resource:

Remove language barriers with seamless sharing of language preferences, interpreter needs or the ability to add an interpreter in the moment, Q-rounds™ streamlines communication with non-Engligsh speaking caregivers during hospital rounds in three ways: 

  1. Pulling in caregiver language preference from the patient’s medical record in the EHR
  2. Empower family members to RSVP to attend rounds and indicate if a language other than English is preferred, even if it's not listed in the EHR
  3. Connecting the care team, caregivers and an interpreter with one click conference calls

Empowering Providers & Caregivers with Q-rounds™:

  • Step 1. Building the Queue: Q-rounds™ integrates seamlessly with Electronic Health Records (EHR) to create a rounding queue based on AI and provider decision-making. Caregivers with non-English language preferences can be easily identified and prioritized for efficient communication.
  • Step 2. Sharing the Queue: Q-rounds™ ensures that caregivers receive real-time updates on rounding schedules and are able to identify if they prefer a language other than English. Addressing the communication gap that may contribute to disparities in healthcare utilization.
  • Step 3. Arriving at Rounds Together: By notifying caregivers when to arrive for rounds and providing a secure option for remote interpretation services, Q-rounds™ facilitates active participation with non-English speaking caregivers whether they join rounds in person or virtually

Having families present at rounds can significantly reduce their anxiety and improve communication with the care team.

Family attendance at rounds gives them a better understanding of the patient’s care, improving care planning and decision making. Q-rounds promotes a family-centered approach by giving them the chance to plan their day around rounds, attend virtually if they can't be at the hospital and with the support of an interpreter if needed.

In conclusion, the study's findings emphasize the impact of caregiver language preference on pediatric asthma care outcomes. Q-rounds™ stands as a valuable resource in mitigating these disparities and enables a more patient-centric and inclusive healthcare environment, aligning with the study's call for innovative solutions that consider the diverse needs and beliefs of families.