Mosaic Medical, a nonprofit community health center providing quality care for all in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras, was recently awarded $43,000 from the Central Oregon Health Council. The funds will be used to improve communication and language access services for Mosaic patients.
The grant funds will be used to purchase video remote interpreting technology and simple communication aid tools at eight of Mosaic’s 15 primary care clinics. This investment will enhance communication and improve access to comprehensive primary care services for patients whose primary language is other than English, and for patients who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have limited vision.
“We are so pleased to receive this grant from COHC and to use the funds to enhance the ability of our providers and team members to communicate with all of our patients,” said Megan Haase, Mosaic Medical CEO. “We believe that by increasing the quality of our interpretation services and by adding communication tools in our clinics that we will see health outcomes improve for our patients.”
Mosaic currently has several hundred patients who speak a language other than English or Spanish, including American Sign Language/Sign Language, Chinese, Farsi, Hindu, Thai, Russian and 15 other languages. While Mosaic does have Spanish interpreters on site in most clinics, they are unable to fully meet the demand for in-person interpretation. The COHC grant funds will support the purchase of technology that will allow trained interpreters in Spanish and other languages to use a video chat platform to connect with patients and providers.
The current phone interpretation services available for Mosaic patients has limitations that can sometimes cause important details related to their health visit to get lost in translation. Additionally, use of a video platform allows for assessment of nonverbal cues clues that can aid in communication. The implementation of video remote interpreting is intended to bring the same high quality interpretation services that Mosaic’s Spanish-speaking patients receive to those patients who speak other languages.
Mosaic currently has approximately 500 patients with limited vision, and a number of patients with limited hearing for whom communication such as the process of checking in for an appointment can be challenging. Mosaic intends to purchase pocket talkers with headphones to amplify sound, document magnifiers, and white boards for patients who are nonverbal to use for simple communication prior to the arrival of an interpreter.
“At Mosaic, we are truly committed to providing equitable care for all of our patients,” said Haase. “And we greatly appreciate the support of the COHC in helping us continue to achieve this vision for our community.”
The COHC is dedicated to improving the health of the region and providing oversight of the Medicaid population and Coordinated Care Organization (CCO). COHC was officially created by to promote the health of the region’s residents and seeks to achieve the Triple Aim of improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction with the health system, and reducing cost. The COHC and Central Oregon’s CCO, PacificSource Community Solutions
(PSCS), work together to transform healthcare in the region and to use integrated and coordinated healthcare systems to improve health; increase quality, reliability, availability, and continuity of care; and reduce the cost of care.