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Creating a Preferred Language Communication Strategy for Your Patients
Creating a Preferred Language Communication Strategy for Your Patients

Improve access to care, patient satisfaction, and reduce no-shows with a preferred language strategy.

Thad Kaliszewski avatar
Written by Thad Kaliszewski
Updated over a week ago


In February 2024, CareMessage hosted a webinar to enhance healthcare communication with an intentional and comprehensive language strategy. The session, led by CareMessage Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tracy Angelocci, provided valuable insights into overcoming language barriers in patient care. The webinar highlighted the critical role of effective communication in achieving health equity and improving patient outcomes, especially within underserved communities.

Our goal is to empower healthcare providers with the tools to communicate with patients in their preferred language, thereby enhancing engagement, improving health outcomes, and promoting health equity.

Understanding the Need for a Language Strategy

Healthcare inequities have long been a challenge, often exacerbated by language barriers. With millions in the U.S. speaking languages other than English at home, and a significant portion having limited English proficiency, the need for a robust language strategy is clear. Such a strategy not only addresses healthcare disparities but also aligns with the mission of providing equitable healthcare access to all, particularly the underserved.

Implementing Languages in CareMessage

CareMessage offers a suite of services designed to improve operational effectiveness and patient outcomes through enhanced communication. Incorporating multiple languages into our platform is an important step toward achieving these goals. Here’s how you can start:

  1. Know Your Demographic: Begin by understanding the linguistic diversity of your patient base. Utilize the preferred language field in your patient demographic data to identify the range of languages spoken by your patients.

  2. Clean Your Data: Ensure the accuracy of your language data by checking for duplicates or errors, especially if language information is manually inputted or derived from free-text fields.

  3. Select Priority Languages: Based on your demographic analysis, prioritize the languages that will most benefit your patient community. Start with the most commonly spoken languages after English and Spanish.

  4. Utilize Appointment Reminder Templates: CareMessage makes it easy to add multiple languages to your appointment reminder templates. This is an effective starting point for integrating language diversity into patient communications.

  5. Edit and Customize Content: The Appointments Template Editor in CareMessage allows for customization of message content, ensuring that it meets the specific needs of your patient population. Professionally translated content is available for over 60 languages, covering the majority of patient needs.

  6. Enable Inbound Message Translations: This feature ensures that replies from patients in any language are automatically translated into English for your staff, facilitating clearer communication.

Best Practices for Patient-Centered Communication

  • Simplicity and Accessibility: Aim for content that is easily understood, keeping in mind the literacy levels of your audience. Messages should be concise and clear.

  • Personalization: Use Smart Tags to personalize messages, ensuring they resonate more with the recipients.

  • Action-Oriented Messaging: Focus your communication on prompting specific actions and providing clear instructions to the patients.

Leverage the Right Language Tools to Succeed With Your Population

Leveraging Translation Services

For content that needs translation, consider using professional translation services to ensure accuracy and cultural appropriateness.

CareMessage has partnered with organizations like ProZ and Tarjimly to support nonprofits in accessing high-quality translation services.

Get Started Today!

  1. Determine the top 3 languages of your patient population, besides English and Spanish.
    💡List of Supported Languages

  2. Use pre-translated templates or engage with a trusted resource to customize content for your most-used Appointment Reminder template(s).
    💡 Translation Guide & Best Practices

  3. Start with adding the top non-English/Spanish language seen in your patient population to your most-used template.
    💡 Create and Update Appointment Templates

  4. Monitor Appointment Reminder confirmations for your patients whose preferred language is not English/Spanish—are they engaging with your messaging?
    💡 Create an Appointment Report

  5. Give us your feedback! We want to hear about your experience initiating communication with patients in additional languages.
    💡 Submit product feedback here.

For additional questions, feel free to reach out to our Support Team at: [email protected]

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