Language status can be conceptualized as an equity-relevant variable, particularly for non-English-speaking populations. Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate comprise one such group and are understudied in health services research. DHH individuals are at high-risk of receiving lower-quality care due to ineffective patient–provider communication. This perspective outlines barriers to health equity research serving DHH ASL-users due to systems developed by large-scale informatics networks (eg, the Patient-Centered Clinical Outcomes Research Network), and institutional policies on self-serve cohort discovery tools. We list potential to help adequate capture of language status of DHH ASL-users to promote health equity for this population.
Is this paper peer reviewed? This paper is published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. This journal uses a peer review process where the authors do not know the identities of the reviewers.
Who paid for this project? This project was supported by grants from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R36HS027537), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (UL1TR000064, UL1TR001427, UL1TR002001), and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (K12GM106997). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or of the National Institutes of Health.
Are there any conflicts of interest? There are no conflicts of interest.