Technology Improves Communication with Patients

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  • Technology Improves Communication with Patients

    Background Information

    Client’s industry

    Hospital/Healthcare facility

    Type of Product

    Over the phone interpreting

    Type of project

    24/7/365 clinical and emergency language support

    Languages involved

    Albanian, Akateko, Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Cambodian, Chin (Lai), Chinese (Mandarin), Dari, Farsi, German, Hakha Chin, Japanese, Karen, Karenni (Kayah), Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Korean, Nepali, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zo (Zomi/Tedim)

    Volume of work

    About 250 sessions per month, average use of 2500 minutes per month. Available 24/7/365.

    Time frame

    Ongoing as needed since 2012

    Project Brief

    Over the past few decades, a Midwestern community has seen a substantial uptick in migrants from around the world. This community’s second largest employer (the Client), a large healthcare facility with 300 physicians, works with Paragon to facilitate communication with their limited-English proficiency (LEP) patients in languages from Akateko to Zomi. As the region’s main health center, they must count on an interpreting service provider who is always there--24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—and Paragon’s over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) service has proven itself to be the perfect solution. The Client has come to rely on Paragon’s service in emergency and non-emergency settings whenever their patients need it.

    The Problem

    The traditional method of interpreting in medical settings has been on-site, consecutive interpreting, with a live interpreter in the room in order that the patient and their healthcare provider can communicate. However, this method requires a qualified local interpreter to be identified and scheduled well ahead of time. For many languages, a qualified medical interpreter simply doesn’t live close enough to the hospital. In addition, most interpreters charge a half-day/full-day rate, which means the Client pays more for brief appointments that last for just a few minutes. The Client tried other OPI providers, but encountered problems with connectivity, language availability, and overall customer service.

    The Solution

    The Client’s primary concern is the safety and confidentiality of their patients; Paragon’s OPI service is HIPPA compliant. In terms of language availability, Paragon offers support in over 200 languages, including those spoken by the diverse communities the Client serves. The connectivity issues the Client experienced were relieved by the fact that all our interpreters are based in the US and Canada and are required to use landlines in a private space for interpreting. Finally, we went the extra mile for the Client and their patients by establishing a special emergency line that reduced wait time and removed hold music to avoid distracting the paramedics. Paragon is available 24/7/365 to address any customer service issues. The Client utilizes the service approximately 250 times every month, averaging about 10 minutes per call. The Client has the option to preschedule appointments or use an interpreter to place outgoing follow-up calls, just like an on-site interpreter, but only pays for the minutes that they utilize. Check out more information about our OPI service [here].

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