Going to the doctor can be stressful enough. Having a language barrier makes it that much scarier.
Maria López experienced that kind of anxiety when she went to the doctor. She used to put off going, believing that no one at the hospital would understand her.
"When I felt badly, I didn’t come to the hospital because I didn’t speak English," López said. "If I felt pain, I would wonder, 'Where will I go?' because they are not going to understand me."
It wasn't until a referral to Denver Health that she finally found a medical office where she felt comfortable.
Last year, Denver Health had more than 650,000 visits with patients who preferred to speak another language other than English. About 80 percent of those visits required interpreter support.
Denver Health has a team of staff interpreters available as well as a partnership with LanguageLine, which provides on-demand interpretation via video and audio-only.
Caregivers can also access interpreters instantly on their wireless devices via the LanguageLine app.
Additionally, LanguageLine provides scheduled, in-person appointments through our OnSite Interpreting.
"All of the patients have the same opportunity to have (interpreters)," López said. "When the doctors arrive, the (interpreters) are with you."
As a dialysis patient awaiting a kidney transplant, she has used the services frequently.
"Before I came here, I went to two hospitals," López said. "They told me that they were not going to provide service.”
Through LanguageLine, Denver Health is able to offer interpreter services in more than 240 languages, free of charge. Commonly requested languages include Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Russian, French, and Nepali.
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"We ensure that everybody who has a communication barrier never gets limited to the access of healthcare because of it." said Mary Pamboukis, a language specialist at Denver Health. "So, it’s very rewarding. It fulfills your day.
"Interpreters are with patients in the good times and the bad times and everything in between because we go through everything with them.”
Provide Quality Care in the Languages Your Patients Prefer
There are more than 25 million limited English proficient (LEP) speakers in the U.S. and another 10 million are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH). When you meet their needs, you produce better outcomes, avoid costly errors, and help ensure health equity for all. You can also boost patient satisfaction and referrals.
LanguageLine is delighted to partner with 94 percent of Fortune 100 healthcare companies; 18 of the top 20 hospital systems in the United States; and seven of the top 10 children’s hospitals.
We invite you to learn more about our interpretation, translation, testing, and training services for health care, and to schedule a free consultation so that we can learn more about the opportunities within your organization.