Are you able to communicate with the growing number of Spanish speakers among your patient population? If not, the time to take action is now! Data shows that Hispanic populations will continue to be the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. in the coming years.
Let’s take a quick look back. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau estimated the Hispanic population to be a modest 9.1 million. Fast forward to 2015 and those estimates have skyrocketed to 55 million. Even more, by 2060 the Hispanic population is expected to reach over 119 million.
In direct correlation to this population boom is the growing inclusion of the Spanish language in many aspects of everyday life in the United States. Today, Spanish is the most spoken non-English language with over 37 million speakers. Three-fourths of all Hispanics ages 5 and up speak Spanish. Moreover, the United States in now the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country on the planet behind Mexico, Spain, Columbia, and Argentina.
This rise is evident in everyday life, no matter where you may live. Whether it’s at the ATM, reading instruction manuals or flipping channels on the television – business entities, more than ever, are adjusting their products and services to better serve the Spanish speaking population.
Today, healthcare providers are taking notice as well. Patient communication strategies that include language preference are becoming more and more commonplace. Whether it’s an appointment reminder or any other patient notification, providers that proactively reach out to Spanish speaking patients in their language are seeing greater response rates, reduced no-shows and other positive results. Offering patients language preference can improve your outreach and ultimately enhance the patient experience.
As the Spanish language continues to take on a greater role in American culture, it’s important to be cognizant of this shift and what patient communication challenges and opportunities lay ahead.