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Eight Steps Medicare Plans Can Take to Enroll More Limited-English Speakers

Posted by Mike McMahon on October 1, 2018

This year’s open-enrollment period for Medicare will run from October 15 through December 7. Studies show that a large number of Medicare enrollees are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well” and are entitled to assistance.

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'It Was Like a Miracle': A Video-Interpreting Success Story

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 24, 2018

Alex Gonzalez is a registered nurse in the oncology unit at Salinas Valley Memorial Health System. SVMH is a public hospital that provides quality health services to patients of all ages throughout Monterey County, an agricultural hub where a quarter of the overall population are non-citizens and more than 40 percent are native Spanish speakers.

It’s no wonder that when Gonzalez was trained on LanguageLine InSight, a video-interpreting solution that delivers on-demand access to professional linguists in 36 languages at the touch of a button, he thought the technology was heaven-sent.

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Open Enrollment is Coming. Here Are Six Things Insurers Can Do to Improve Communication with Non-English Speakers

Posted by Cory Markert on September 19, 2018

Healthcare Open Enrollment Period is coming soon. Starting Nov. 1, plans participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be flooded with inquiries. Agents are no doubt readying themselves for questions in every shape and form. 

But are they prepared to field these same questions in a variety of languages?

This is an altogether different matter – one that has a great deal to do with providing an ideal customer experience and reaching a previously underserved market.

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Why Pharmacies Need Language Access

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 18, 2018

Like physicians, pharmacies play an important role in empowering patients to take charge of their health

Unfortunately, language barriers often make it more difficult for non-English-speaking customers to ask important questions about their medication, take it as directed, and be aware of potential side effects.

As pharmacies serve increasingly diverse populations, language access is becoming more important than ever.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that one in five Americans (65 million people) speaks a language other than English at home. Just over of 40 percent of these individuals is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well” and are entitled to assistance. This LEP group constitutes about nine percent of the total U.S. population.

Language barriers can pose serious health risks to LEP customers. Research has shown that those with little knowledge of English often do not have a good understanding of their medication instructions.

Here are a few ways language access can help pharmacists empower their customers.

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Language Training for Medical Staff Can Keep Health Care from Getting Lost in Translation

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 13, 2018

A non-English-speaking mother-to-be arrives at a hospital to give birth, unaware that her pregnancy is high-risk. The clinic where she had her pre-natal appointments did not use professional interpreters. Instead the clinic relied on the serious news being conveyed by the woman’s sister-in-law, who did not have the heart to explain the diagnosis. The woman is told at the hospital that her child will not make it.

A 9-year-old Vietnamese girl arrives at the emergency room with what appears to be a severe stomach flu. The girls’ parents do not speak English. Instead of using a professional interpreter, hospital staff instead speaks only to the girl and her 16-year-old brother about her prescription, sending them home with instructions that the girl should return if she experiences specific side effects. The girl ends up having a negative reaction to the drug. She suffers a heart attack and dies.

These real-life outcomes seem as if they should have happened in days gone by. Sadly, these events took place recently. Even worse, they are not uncommon despite readily available on-demand language services.

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Emergency Management Plans Should Incorporate Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Citizens

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 11, 2018

The imminent landfall of Hurricane Florence tells us that we are in the midst of a time of year that has become known as “hurricane season.” Sadly, it is also a period when we are reminded that the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are sometimes minimized and even forgotten during an emergency.

Approximately 35 million Americans are hearing impaired. It has been well documented that training designed to help communicate with this community during a disaster is rare, and frequently lacks standardization or integration into a formal emergency management plan.

All too often, crucial information is delivered infrequently, late, and is often missing critical facts – if it is delivered at all. These dangerous communication gaps leave the Deaf and Hard of Hearing with an incomplete understanding of what is happening, when it will happen, and what steps they are expected to take.

What can your community do to better communicate with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing when faced with an emergency?

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Language Assistance Must be a Priority During Emergency Response

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 10, 2018

Language access should be a key component of every disaster plan, as roughly one in eight United States residents is limited-English proficient (LEP). Unfortunately, caring for the needs of LEP populations in the face of an emergency is not always the priority it should be. If LEP individuals are not able to access disaster information in a language they can understand, the consequences can be deadly.

A disaster plan typically incorporates three phases: preparedness, response, and recovery.

Emergency response is foremost on our minds as Hurricane Florence steers toward land. Today we will focus on effectively managing the communication of information about sheltering, evacuation, transportation, and health care before and during an emergency to LEP individuals.

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What Language Will Your Customers Speak In 2030?

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on July 23, 2018

If you think it’s difficult to define your typical customer now, imagine what it will be like 20 years from now.

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UPCOMING WEBINAR: How Mount Sinai Put a Cutting Edge Language-Access Program into Action

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on July 17, 2018

Healthcare systems that serve diverse communities are tasked with the same three goals when implementing language-access programs:

  1. Improve outcomes
  2. Maximize staff efficiency
  3. Control costs

One of America’s most respected healthcare networks has accomplished these three goals by implementing a forward-looking, comprehensive language-access program that serves patients who speak more than 150 languages.

In our next webinar, staff members who pioneered this program at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York will explain exactly how they did it.

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CASE STUDY: City of Houston Deploys Video in Evacuation Exercise

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on June 20, 2018

Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain. A year ago, Hurricane Harvey inundated America’s fourth-largest city with over 50 inches of rain and impacted more than 300,000 housing units. More homes flooded in Houston during Hurricane Harvey than in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. It was the third year in a row that Houston experienced severe flooding.

Accordingly, Houston placed fifth on a recent list of the 10 riskiest American cities for natural disasters. Two other Texas cities, Austin (second) and Dallas (fourth), also made the list.

The City of Houston has been proactive in preparing for natural disasters. Its Public Health Emergency Preparedness Team recently participated in the annual City of Houston Evacuation Hub Exercise. The Houston Health Department recently posted this video depicting the exercise.

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