Background Provider-patient miscommunication in the health care setting can have fatal consequences. Our quality improvement project aims to evaluate an intervention deployed to overcome patient provider language barrier at Saint Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC).
Method A baseline assessment was conducted to assess the language mix of patients presenting to the hospital. Medical Afaan Oromoo (MAO) project was then designed to teach Afaan Oromoo to health care professionals in a 3-month period. The effectiveness of the project was evaluated with standardized pre and post training assessment tools.
Results Most patients seeking care at the hospital speak Afaan Oromoo (56%), while only 8.9% of health care providers were able to communicate in Afaan Oromoo. The language training project was able to improve language proficiency from a baseline of Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale Level 0 to Level 2 in 96% of trainees.
Conclusions The tailored language training project was able to bring about a significant change in health professionals Afaan Oromo language proficiency. However, further research is needed to ascertain its impact in actual Afaan Oromoo language incongruous clinical settings.