Why it’s important to provide your patients with trained interpreters

Overcoming language barriers in healthcare settings is crucial for providing quality care to all patients. With such a significant portion of the population speaking languages other than English at home, ensuring effective communication between healthcare providers and limited English proficient patients is essential. This helps provide accurate diagnosis, informed decision-making, and overall patient satisfaction.

Professional medical interpreters play a vital role by facilitating clear and accurate communication between healthcare providers and patients.

Can a bilingual speaker act as your interpreter?

Relying on untrained or ad hoc interpreters can pose significant risks to patient safety and the quality of care. The consequences of misinterpretation or omission of vital medical information can lead to misunderstandings. It can also potentially result in misdiagnoses, improper treatments, or adverse medical outcomes.

It’s understandable that hospitals may seek cost-effective solutions. Nevertheless, employing untrained interpreters can outweigh the short-term savings. Investing in professional medical interpreters who are proficient not only in language but also in medical terminology and cultural nuances can help mitigate these risks and ensure effective communication.

Hiring professional interpreters

By prioritizing the use of trained medical interpreters, healthcare organizations demonstrate their commitment to patient safety, quality of care, and respect for diversity.

Efforts to address this issue may include:

  1. Training Programs: Hospitals can provide training programs for bilingual staff interested in becoming professional medical interpreters. This investment not only improves language services within the institution but also enhances career development opportunities for employees.
  2. Contracting Professional Interpreter Services: Outsourcing language services to reputable interpreter agencies or organizations can ensure access to trained interpreters on an as-needed basis, without the burden of hiring and training internal staff.
  3. Utilizing Technology: Implementing telephonic or video interpretation services can provide immediate access to professional interpreters, even in languages that may be less commonly spoken in the local community.
  4. Cultural Competency Training: Healthcare providers and staff should receive ongoing training in cultural competency to better understand and address the unique needs of patients from diverse backgrounds.

Targem Translations provides hospitals with highly trained medical interpreters via video, telephone, or on location, in over 350 languages.

They are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill their role effectively. This includes not only linguistic proficiency but also cultural awareness, sensitivity, and familiarity with healthcare systems. We can help your institution to mitigate communication errors and improve patient experiences. Contact us today.

2024-07-01T23:51:32+00:00 June 14th, 2024|0 Comments

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