Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 20(1) April 2017 : 73-78.doi:10.12927/hcq.2017.25140
Improving Equity

The Effect of Language on Hospital Inpatient Length of Stay

Nirbhai Singh Pannu, Alexandra Hill-Mann and Gurwinder Gill


As one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, Canada is faced with numerous challenges in addressing disparities affecting its healthcare system. One barrier to care is limited English proficiency (LEP). Using electronic medical records, this retrospective study examined the impact of LEP on inpatient length of stay (LOS) in an acute care community hospital. We found that patients in our sample population with LEP had a shorter inpatient LOS by 0.36 days compared with English-proficient (EP) patients. In this paper, we discuss possible contributing factors, potential impact on patient care and experience and considerations for future research.



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