While the recent article “Lost in Translation?
” highlights the drawbacks of telephone interpretation in healthcare, it fails to mention the popular technological advancements in interpretation services that hospitals are leveraging to enhance safety and provide patients with high-quality, compassionate care.
Across the country, traditional phone-only services are now being replaced by more comprehensive video interpretation systems. Hospitals in the greater Chicago area are using the Illinois Video Interpreter Network, an advanced video interpretation platform launched by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council in 2008. In less than a minute, a healthcare provider can access American Sign Language and foreign language interpreters in up to 180 languages via video or audio, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The system uses call-center technology to connect interpreters with patients, using portable video devices. In 2012, iPads were incorporated in the IVIN system, giving providers greater flexibility and access to interpreters.
By opening communication channels through newer technological systems, remote interpreters play a critical role in enhancing patient safety and positive outcomes.
CEO, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council