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Does Your Healthcare Facility Need Video Remote Interpreting Services?

A woman doctor showing the male patient a tablet.

In a country where one in five patients speak a language other than English at home, language services are incredibly important in healthcare settings.

Patients with limited-English proficiency (LEP) face undue risks when it comes to their health. However, efficient language support negates those risks. 

Part of ensuring language services are most effective is choosing the right kind of support. On-site and telephone interpreting have been the most common types of language support in the past, but video remote interpreting (VRI) adds another uniquely valuable option. Take a look at how to know your healthcare facility could benefit from video remote interpreting. 

Advantages of Video Remote Interpreting 

All levels of interpreting have their advantages, and there can be situations when telephone, video, and on-site interpreting can be most fitting. However, VRI offers specific advantages for healthcare providers in comparison to the more traditional language support models, including: 

  • VRI may be more cost-effective than on-site interpreting 
  • VRI is available on-demand from the right services provider, whereas on-site interpreting is not 
  • VRI offers visual communication with non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language and American Sign Language (ASL), which is not possible by telephone

Signs Your Practice Could Benefit from Video Remote Interpreting Services 

The best language support comes from a multifaceted approach, which means making use of the most fitting levels of support when needed. A lot of care providers will make use of telephone interpreting or on-site interpreting but never implement a plan to offer VRI. However, there may be signs that a medical practice could benefit from taking advantage of video interpreting services. 

1. Your practice serves a high number of Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients 

One of the main advantages of video remote interpreting is the fact that this makes it possible to adequately serve Deaf or hard of hearing patients. Ideally, medical providers will have someone on staff that is fluent in ASL, but this isn't always the case. Additionally, even if one staff member speaks ASL, that individual may not always be available. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, around 15% of adults in America over the age of 18 have some trouble hearing. 

2. Care providers consistently deliver sensitive or complex health information  

When providers are communicating sensitive, emotionally charged, or complex health information, the best idea is to have an interpreter on-site. While there is no good substitute for in-person interpreted communication during sensitive health scenarios, sometimes remote video interpreting is the next best thing when an on-site interpreter is not available. For example, if a patient speaks a relatively rare language, on-site interpreters can be either difficult to procure or costly. Therefore, a video remote interpreter would be the more logical solution. 

3. LEP patient satisfaction scores are lacking

Patient satisfaction scores can tell you a lot about how well existing language services are working for LEP patients. Studies have shown LEP patients with access to interpretation are more likely to be satisfied with their care provider. Unfortunately, when patients are not satisfied with a care provider, this can have detrimental effects on clinical outcomes and the likelihood of following recommended medical treatment plans. If you find LEP patients to be dissatisfied with your services and you only offer telephone interpreting, for example, offering video remote interpreting could make a difference. 

Learn More About Video Remote Interpreting From GLOBO

GLOBO offers solutions to simplify language support in healthcare settings, including video-remote interpreting. Reach out to start a conversation about how our language services can help you better serve your patients. New to VRI? Check out our blog on Best Practices for Working with a Video Interpreter

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