Nor-Lea Hospital District, New Mexico and CardMedic

Not-for-profit, community based Nor-Lea Hospital District in Lovington, New Mexico, is using CardMedic to reduce the risk of communication errors with patients.


Emergency doctors at Nor-Lea were able to easily and safely interpret Jorge’s care needs thanks to CardMedic

Not-for-profit, community based Nor-Lea Hospital District in Lovington, New Mexico, is using CardMedic to reduce the risk of communication errors with patients. The critical access rural hospital can now make sure every patient with additional communication needs receives the best possible person-centered care, reducing health inequalities and the potential for litigation.

CardMedic makes healthcare make sense to patients facing communication barriers in New Mexico.

Nor-Lea General Hospital, which has a 24/7 level four trauma center, is using the CardMedic app across its 25-inpatient-bed hospital site to aid communication with emergency and post-surgical patients speaking a diverse range of languages. By working with CardMedic, Nor-Lea has achieved: 

  • Improved patient experience for limited-English proficiency patients
  • Reduced health inequalities for patients seeking emergency care with additional
  • communication needs
  • Reduced reliance on face-to-face interpreters, friends and family translators, and machine translation tools
  • Improved patients’ confidence in the care they receive
The challenge

Nor-Lea Hospital District operates a Level IV Trauma Center and can experience all kinds of emergency situations. It also provides an inpatient floor for overnight care of post-surgical patients.

Due to its rural location, it serves a largely Spanish speaking and bilingual population which causes communication barriers between clinicians and limited-English proficiency patients when an interpreter isn’t available.

As many as 50% of any patient demographic engaging with healthcare providers experience communication issues due to language, cognitive disorders, learning differences, hearing or sight loss, and problems related to their medical condition. And when communication issues arise, patients receive the wrong care, partial care, or no care, leading to negative outcomes and delays which are often avoidable.

At the point of care, the inability to communicate effectively is the largest single contributor to healthcare inequality, and to litigation against providers.

The solution

The addition of technology to supplement the provision of professional interpreters significantly reduces the potential for poor health outcomes as a result of communication barriers.

The CardMedic app provides a ‘safety net’ when gaps in service provision occur, delivering ‘all-you-can-eat’ access to pre-scripted and pre-translated clinician-patient dialog.

CardMedic is designed to overcome any communication barrier; visual, hearing or cognitive impairment, foreign language, or PPE.

“CardMedic supports us during those urgent or immediate communication moments with patients when interpreters are unavailable, helping our patients to receive the best possible care.”

“We want CardMedic to be something every employee at Nor-Lea Hospital District can access if they realize there’s a breakdown in communication. Our aim is for our employees to use CardMedic to improve patient experience, reduce anxiety and maximize confidence in the care our patients receive.”

Jordan Benard, Director of Business Development and Community Relations at Nor-Lea Hospital District

The result

Addressing communication barriers provides huge benefits to patients, staff, and care systems.

CardMedic is helping Nor-Lea reduce inequalities and improve patient access, experience and health outcomes. By improving health outcomes, it ultimately helps support broader social and economic development, enhancing productivity and value for money.

“Our mission is to give everyone an exceptional experience and to enhance lives, and a big part of that is communication. We want to enhance the health of patients and their communities, and critical to that is patients fully understanding their plan of care.”

“Our CEO thought the product was brilliant, and we wanted to collaborate with CardMedic to integrate their app in our unique rural setting to help us reap the benefits of communicating effectively with our diverse patients and deliver the best possible patient experience.”

Being privately owned and operated, but accredited by Medicare and Medicaid means Nor-Lea can be more innovative and agile than traditional larger US healthcare entities. This has allowed the healthcare provider to pioneer the CardMedic app as a means of overcoming some of the regular communication challenges it faces serving a diverse, rural and multilingual population.

See the impact of CardMedic in action