LanguageLine Solutions(R) and Equiva, a digital patient engagement and health relationship management (HRM) solution provider, announced a strategic partnership. The goal is to support healthcare organizations (HCOs) in reducing language as a barrier to care for individuals not proficient in English, as well as to promote efforts to advance health equity.
This partnership streamlines the process for HCOs to deliver LanguageLine’s interpreting application on Equiva’s health relationship management platform. It ensures round-the-clock access to 20,000-plus interpreters in more than 240 languages via tablets and cell phones used by inpatients, outpatients, and people accessing services remotely from home and beyond. The interpreting service is available in both video and audio-only formats.
“Health inequities are far too prevalent. We’re very pleased to collaborate with LanguageLine to advance health equity by addressing language as a social determinant of health,” said Nir Altman, CEO of Equiva. “By providing one-touch, always-on access to interpreters via mobile devices, we enable patients, loved ones, and clinicians to collaborate in a highly effective and efficient way.”
According to Altman, studies have shown that people with limited English proficiency are less likely to seek care, obtain services when necessary, and access preventive services, all of which can add costs to the healthcare system. Research also shows that the use of interpreter services contributes to increased patient and clinician satisfaction, as well as to improved care among patients with language barriers.
Northwell Health’s Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH) is one of several organizations now providing LanguageLine’s interpretation services via Equiva tablets. The hospital’s clinicians perform ambulatory surgical procedures for as many as 100 patients each day across 17 operating rooms.
“We care for a large number of Spanish-speaking patients and also many who speak less-common languages such as Creole, Jamaican, Italian, Russian and Mandarin,” said Kerry Donohue, MSN, RN, manager of patient experience and culture leader at MEETH. “Language services are a ‘must have’ to support members of our care team in delivering the best quality healthcare in a timely and efficient manner.”
MEETH initially deployed Equiva tablets in all 30 of its pre-op and post-op patient bays to provide entertainment and other services to help minimize anxiety and reduce perceived wait times. More recently they added language interpretation to the devices, allowing them to ensure always available access to interpretation services via video. Previously, interpretation services were provided mostly via audio-only devices with limited access to video-engaged interpreters.
“Having LanguageLine on Equiva tablets has been instrumental in helping us improve patient experience and caregiving,” Donohue said. “Our nurses are especially excited about this. It’s so wonderful for care team members to be empowered to overcome language barriers and communication gaps. I can’t stress how important ease-of-use is in these situations and how powerful it is to equip every bed with 24-7 video interpretation services.”
Equiva delivers LanguageLine via its HRM platform, a point solution and software delivery framework that supports HCOs in developing and retaining long-term customer relationships. With tens of thousands of interactions per day, Equiva solutions have touched millions of lives across 800-plus customer deployments.
LanguageLine President and CEO Scott W. Klein said his organization is pleased to support the effort to bring language access closer to patients and caregivers.
“Together, Equiva and LanguageLine serve the right people at the right time by providing one-touch, on-demand access to interpreters via video or audio, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Klein said. “This technology lowers language and cultural barriers, and can quite literally be lifesaving. We’re making healthcare more equitable by empowering patients and caregivers to experience the sort of communication they deserve.”
Equiva’s HRM platform helps healthcare organizations develop and retain long-term customer relationships and support initiatives to advance health equity, improve health outcomes, and drive financial success. Equiva blends aspects of patient engagement, care management, and marketing in a framework that bridges data analytics with education and behavioral science-driven methodologies – to purposefully mobilize intelligence-driven action among consumers, patients, their loved ones, and care team members. A healthcare point solution aggregation and software delivery environment, Equiva’s SaaS platform can securely power any number of education and engagement solutions via mobile devices (tablets and phones,) kiosks, televisions, digital signage, and more.
LanguageLine has been the world leader in innovative language-access solutions since 1982. The company sets the global standard for phone, video, and onsite interpreting, as well as translation, localization, and testing and training for bilingual staff and interpreters. LanguageLine is trusted by more than 30,000 clients to enable communication with the limited English proficient, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing communities. LanguageLine provides the industry’s fastest and most dependable access to more than 35,000 professional linguists in 290-plus languages – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.