Erlanger Health System has implemented a series of innovative solutions that enable better communication with patients and families that speak limited English or are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Via video or phone, caregivers can now access a professional LanguageLine Solutions interpreter in more than 240 languages at the touch of a button. The LanguageLine service is available via smart phones, tablets, computers, and dial-up phones.

Erlanger says it recognized the importance of keeping up with the ever-diversifying population in the Chattanooga, Tenn., region.

“We are proud to increase accessibility to all our communities in the region we serve,” said Elizabeth Appling, Chief Diversity Officer of Erlanger. “The ethnic landscape of our region, like so many others, is changing and quickly growing. Erlanger understands that in order to fulfill our mission of providing compassionate care we must be able to communicate with our patients and their families.”

The move comes as the Chattanooga region becomes more diverse. According to the United States Census Bureau, Hamilton County Tenn. is 25 percent non-white, including 6 percent Hispanic. Both the African-American and Hispanic communities have continued to increase in the county. Additionally, the percentage of families that speak a language other than English in their home has grown to more than 7 percent.

Erlanger partnered on the venture with LanguageLine Solutions, the world leader in on-demand interpretation. LanguageLine specializes in providing language services to centers of health across North America, including 19 of the top 20 health systems in the United States.

“It has been our immense pleasure to partner with Erlanger Health System,” LanguageLine President and CEO Scott W. Klein said. “We applaud their sensitivity to the growing diversity of the Chattanooga community. We look forward to working together to provide language access that empowers every patient.” 

The importance of this technology is growing, as one in five U.S. residents now speaks a language other than English at home.

Erlanger caregivers now have on-demand access to nearly 16,000 professional LanguageLine interpreters. This support is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With interpretation available via a mobile app, Erlanger’s innovative approach puts the power of thousands of interpreters – and 240 languages – into caregivers’ pockets.

About Erlanger Health

Erlanger Health System is a non-profit, academic medical center affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and is a Level-I Trauma Center for adults. Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is the region’s only pediatric hospital providing the highest level of trauma, critical and inpatient care, as well as the region’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. Erlanger is the only provider of tertiary care services spanning a 50,000 square-mile region encompassing southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia, north Alabama and western North Carolina. The health system consists of seven hospitals and seven emergency departments, provides medical services for a fleet of six helicopters and offers centers of excellence in bariatrics, cancer, heart and lung, emergency, neuroscience, orthopedics, pediatrics, primary care, surgery, trauma, urology and women’s services. With a history that dates back more than a century, Erlanger is one of the largest non-profits in Chattanooga, Tenn. Each year, Erlanger has approximately 800,000 patient visits. Visit www.erlanger.org

About LanguageLine Solutions

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 28,000 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 nearly 16,000 professional linguists in 240-plus languages – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Visit www.languageline.com