Language Services Allow Optimal Healthcare to be Provided Regardless of Language Barriers:
Effective communication is critical in any medical situation, however linguistic diversity in America is leaving medical workers and limited English proficient (LEP) patients lost in translation. Providing optimal healthcare to all patients is a must despite the presence of a language barrier. Language services such as on-site interpretation, over-the-phone (OPI) interpretation and video remote interpreting (VRI) are vital solutions in combating the negative effects often caused by language barriers. LEP patients are put at risk when they are not provided with the language services they need in order to understand important information and make decisions regarding their personal health. Studies have shown a lack in access to professional language services allows room for error and misunderstandings to occur; in medical situations errors can leave a patient with recurrent issues or perhaps life altering consequences.
Findings in Reference to Study Entitled, “Professional Language Interpretation and Inpatient Length of Stay and Readmission Rates”:
A study was conducted aiming to investigate the differences between LEP patients who did and did not received interpretation services at admission and or discharge dates. The study compared their length of stay (LOS) as well as 30-day readmission rate. Over a three year period, interpretation at admission and discharge of all LEP patients admitted was monitored. There were 3,071 patients included in the study, 39% received interpretation services at both admission and discharge date. Patients who did not receive interpretation services had an increase in their LOS between 0.75 and 1.47 days. Patients who were provided with interpretation services were less likely than patients receiving no interpretation to be readmitted with 30 days. Overall the LOS for LEP patients who did not have access to a professional interpreter was significantly longer than LEP patients who were provided with language services at both admission and discharge dates.
The Following Breakdown Will Help You Understand How Language Services Can Aid in Providing Better Care for Your LEP Patients:
Utilizing language services can help your healthcare facility cut down on time lost and errors made when LEP patients are being cared for. LEP patients shouldn’t be put at risk to face longer hospital stays or recurring visits due to a language barrier. Utilizing the following language services can ensure accurate communication can be facilitated.
On-site interpretation is a wonderful solution that allows for a professional interpreter to be physically present for the exchange. Onsite interpretation is ideal for situations that are sensitive, emotionally challenging or if very complex information is being providing. Having an on-site interpreter physically presence can aid in making a LEP patient feel calm and more comfortable in a stressful situation.
Over-The-Phone (OPI) Interpretation:
OPI is a reliable and fast language service that allows communication to be facilitated in a quick and cost efficient manner. Over-the-phone interpretation services are very beneficial when short conversations need to take place or simple questions need to be asked. OPI is a wonderful language service solution when an appointment needs to be confirmed or test results need to be provided.
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI):
VRI is a user-friendly language service that can be pre-scheduled or used on-demand, connecting you with a professional interpreter via an online platform. VRI keeps the audio as well as visual aspects of interpretation intact, allowing it to be used as a remote sign language interpretation service for deaf patients. VRI is a wonderful option in emergency medical situations where there is no time to wait on an interpreter to arrive and when telephone interpretation is not enough. During an emergency, a VRI cart can be brought in at the time of a LEP patient’s arrival and a connection with an interpreter can be made within five minutes or less. VRI is an asset for all medical facilities, it not only allows language accommodations to be made for deaf patients it ensures language barriers do not negatively affect a LEP patient in the advent of an emergency.
Incorporating a language access plan into your healthcare facility that offers all the tools necessary to facilitate communication between people who speak different languages is the best plan of action. Language service companies (LSC) provide interpretation services that can accommodate medical professionals in providing the best care possible to LEP patients. When a patient is in need of language services there should be protocols in place that are to be followed as to ensure a language barrier will not prevent medical care from taking place. Incorporating the use of language services when caring for LEP patients can allow all parties involved to be on the same page, ensuring proper and pristine healthcare is being provided.
Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.