CDA offers patient health history form in Spanish

Each dental office should have an implementation strategy that includes a vision of how they will offer their services to diverse populations. In California, many patients enter a dental practice with Spanish being their only language, and the dentist and staff should have resources available to effectively communicate with those patients.

CDA now has available a patient health history form that has been translated in Spanish for patients of a dental practice. Dental practices can print out the form and use it in their offices.

Showing the patient that there are resources available to them in Spanish as soon as they enter the building is a good way to set them at ease, said CDA Practice Analyst Michelle Corbo.

“Health history forms should be completed by all patients in a dental practice,” Corbo said. “Additionally, it should be reviewed by the patient at each treatment appointment and updated every two years by active patients. It is important that they are reviewed in advance of any treatment by all providers working with the patient. Be certain to allow adequate time in the schedule for this review.”

A study titled Multicultural Issues in Oral Health, which was originally published in Dental Clinics of North America, said that the “social, political and economic pressures on the dental profession to meet the health needs of an increasingly diverse society will only grow over the coming decades.” The study goes on to say, “Inconsistent patient behaviors and attitudes related to compliance with treatment regimens is often a result of cultural conflict between minority patients and their providers.”

Sometimes, a young family member will accompany and attempt to interpret for his or her older family member. Some issues can arise in these situations if a younger family member is hesitant to tell the older one bad news about the status of their oral health.

Dental practices that create a communication strategy and stick to it will help make sure patients who have communication barriers receive the care they need, Corbo said.

For more information on communicating with patients of different ethnicities, contact CDA Practice Support at 800.232.7645.

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The Confidential Patient Health History Form has been translated in Spanish for use in your practice. It is a comprehensive resource pertaining to the gathering of information from your new patient. Used with permissions from TDIC.