A Study Assessing the Use of Dual Handset Phones to Improve Communication with Inpatients Who Have Limited English Proficiency

Full Title

The Use of Dual-handset Interpreter Phones in an Inpatient Setting to Improve Communication with Limited English Proficiency Patients at MSKCC


For patients who have limited English proficiency, the inability to communicate effectively with healthcare providers can lead to problems with informed consent, inadequate understanding of a diagnosis and treatment, dissatisfaction with care, and other problems. In this study, researchers are assessing special dual handset phones to see if they can be used to enhance patient-provider communication.

The patient speaks on one of the handsets and a provider (doctor or nurse) on the other. Both are connected to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Interpreter Service, and an interpreter translates information for the patient and provider. Patients and providers who participate in this study will be surveyed to see if this technology enhanced their communication and understanding.


This study will include 20 adult patients with limited English proficiency whose primary language is Spanish, Russian, or Mandarin and who will be staying as inpatients on certain services of Memorial Hospital for at least two days. The study will also include these patients’ healthcare providers who agree to participate in the study.

For more information about this study, please call Dr. Chhavi B. Kumar at 212-639-7927.