Thursday, December 18, 2014

How Can Non-English Speaking Patients 'Meaningfully Use' Patient Portals?

By Neda Ratanawongsa, MD, MPH

 “For Spanish press 1, for Cantonese press 2, for Mandarin press 3, for Taishanese press 4, for Vietnamese press 5 …” 

My exam room phone doesn’t have enough buttons for all the languages I need to serve my patients.   In a typical clinic session, I use an interpreter for half of my clinic visits and phone calls to patients.   It is this amazing linguistic and cultural diversity that drew me to be a primary care provider at the General Medicine Clinic.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Center of the Storm: Homelessness and Health

by Margot Kushel, MD
As the Bay Area is deluged with the biggest rainstorm in a decade, most of the region’s schools were cancelled and many workplaces allowed for flexibility, so that people could stay safe and dry in their homes. Churches and homeless service agencies opened their doors to provide temporary shelter for members of our community who are homeless. But the storm of the decade was another blow to those who have already been struck by the perfect storm of rising housing prices, loss of support for affordable housing, and lack of availability of living wage jobs for those without specialized skills.