Our healthcare partners are always seeking to bring language access closer to their patients’ bedsides.
One way to do this is through mobile interpreting. You can download the LanguageLine app to any networked mobile device and instantly be able to reach a live, professional interpreter in more than 240 languages at the touch of a button. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in video or audio-only formats.
There is yet another elegant solution that brings an on-demand interpreter to the patient.
Minorities have long experienced disparities with regard to health and medical care. This has been especially true with COVID-19, with ethnic and racial minorities three times more likely to contract the virus and twice as likely to die from it.
When it comes to the coronavirus, our ability to recover will only be as strong as our most vulnerable population. More than 350 languages are spoken across the U.S. In fact, one in five of us speaks a language other than English at home, while 26.5 million are officially considered limited-English proficient, meaning they are entitled to language assistance when seeking health care.
Many organizations that have a translation project looming consider hiring a freelance translator instead of bringing in a full-service language services provider (LSP). The appropriate path for translating your written material depends on a few factors.
The important considerations involve time, quality, budget, and the need for value-added services. Do you have the time and staff to hire and manage individual translators, and assess the quality of their results?
The average reading level for U.S. adults is seventh grade. The recommendation for healthcare communications is that it be at a fourth or fifth-grade level.
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have the health literacy skills needed to manage and prevent disease. Nine in every 10 of us struggles to understand and use health information.
The reason is that much health-related content is unfamiliar, complex, or filled with industry jargon. The reality – and imperative – is we need to improve health literacy. Low health literacy costs this country an estimated $238 billion each year.
When it comes to health literacy, using plain English isn’t just the best approach. In many cases, it is required.
Your organization is expanding internationally. You’re responsible for making sure that the translation of your carefully crafted English content doesn’t end up reading like those laughably bad assembly instructions that we have all tried to decipher.
The inclination of many is to have their overseas colleagues translate and localize the content. Decades of experience have taught us that this endeavor will quickly exceed what your colleagues can do in their “free time.” So how should you approach these projects and how do you know which is the right way?
It might surprise you to learn that there are 37 million American adults with impaired hearing – that’s nearly the size of California, or 11 percent of the U.S. population. This group is expected to grow considerably as Baby Boomers age.
For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, masks, social distancing, and other measures taken to protect public health have created tremendous challenges. At the most basic level, many Deaf and Hard of Hearing people rely on visual cues like the movement of another person’s lips. This is made all but impossible with masks. The result is that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people often feel isolated, as this article from the New York Times points out.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals also miss out on public health information, as many broadcast announcements still do not include closed captions or the use of a sign language interpreter.
And then there’s telemedicine, the use of which has grown exponentially during the pandemic. Some telehealth platforms, as well as more common video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype, are not built with interpreters in mind.
In her book “The Good Company," Laurie Bassi found the best single predictor of a company’s ability to outperform its competitors is the amount of investment made in training and developing employees.
The remarkable growth of remote training since the term “eLearning” was coined in 1999 has been driven by globalization, the internet, the proliferation of smart phones and myriad tools to create and manage remote-learning courses. A global health pandemic is now highlighting the importance of quickly training remote employees in order to safely maintain operations.
If your organization is facing the additional challenge of delivering effective distance learning and training across time zones, cultures and languages, here are a few key concepts to keep in mind: