Telehealth Services Risk Leaving Non-English Speakers Behind

without language interpreters, telehealth

Telehealth has the potential to improve healthcare access, but without interpreters, it may inadvertently worsen minority health disparities.

A new report from UCLA says that policymakers should ensure that telemedicine doesn’t leave vulnerable populations behind, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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The Need for Language Interpreters in Health Care Is Personal

Soupany Saignaphone is a strategic account executive with LanguageLine Solutions.

It was April 20 and we were fully in the throes of the COVID-19 crisis. I was at University of Colorado Health, helping deploy our Interpreter on Wheels video solution and doing some live troubleshooting. I was thinking to myself, “Do I really need to be out here at a hospital in the middle of a pandemic?”

It was then that Michael Clarkson, who is Regional Supervisor of Interpretive Services at UCHealth, asked me a question.

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Healthcare Providers Must Deliver Interpretation and Translation

Minority health COVID 19 LanguageLine

In this era of COVID-19, things are happening fast and furious. Care that might have been taken to provide meaningful language access to limited-English speakers, may no longer seem feasible.

The unfortunate reality is that ethnic minorities have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.  North America is unique in its multiculturalism. One out of five residents speaks a language other than English at home, while eight percent of U.S. adults are considered limited-English proficient. We all interact, and for us to move forward, all communities must be healthy and safe – not just those that speak English.

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WEBINAR: Language Access & COVID-19 Best Practices and Beyond

Language Access COVID-19

Each day we receive questions from healthcare organizations about how to best ensure effective communication during this unprecedented time.

We are eager to address this theme in our upcoming webinar, “Language Access & COVID-19: Best Practices and How to Move Forward.”

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Announcing LanguageLine for Telehealth

foreign language interpreter translator telehealth

Today we are proud to announce the debut of LanguageLine for Telehealth.

This breakthrough service gives healthcare providers the much-needed ability to invite professional, medically trained language interpreters into their telemedicine sessions. As a result, telehealth is now available to all patients, regardless of language, culture, or ability.

This advancement affirms LanguageLine's commitment to being the world’s leading provider of interpretation for telemedicine.

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WATCH: A Video Message from LanguageLine Interpreters

LanguageLine Interpreters Coronavirus Response Video

We search the world over for the finest linguists to join our team of more than 17,000 interpreters and translators. We always say that LanguageLine is a communications company that is enabled by technology. We are human at our core, and our linguists are our heartbeat.

One of our brilliant interpreters, Christina Herold, reached out recently. She asked if our interpreters could say something to the public with whom they’ve been working so closely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Distance Learning: 2 Ways Educators Can Add an Interpreter to a Video Call

The coronavirus epidemic has forced a sudden migration to distance learning for students across the globe.

North America is particularly diverse and its educators have been faced with a unique challenge: communicating remotely with a student (or parent) who speaks limited English. This is a significant issue, as one in five U.S. residents speaks a language other than English at home.

Accomplishing this requires school personnel to solve the technology challenge of adding an interpreter to their video conferences for online learning.

There is good news for educators who have asked in recent weeks about adding interpreters on video conferences as part of remote education. It is completely do-able!

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Using a Phone's Conference-Call Feature to Connect with an Interpreter

Until recently, accessing an interpreter was typically done in one of two ways. Either an interpreter physically joined an onsite meeting, or individuals in the same location (like a doctor and a patient) would use their phone or a video conference to bring an interpreter into the conversation.

Today’s environment and the growing need for language support have some people perplexed. How can they incorporate an interpreter if all three parties (for example, the doctor, the patient, and the interpreter) are in three different locations? Is this even possible?

Yes, it is possible. In fact, there are two easy ways to access an interpreter that are equally simple, even if all three parties are all in different locations.

Here’s how it works.

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CASE STUDY: City with 89 Languages Uses Video Interpreting in Community

Mobile Video Interpreting

Bowling Green, KY, is growing increasingly diverse. One local school system says it has registered 89 different languages, with large pockets of Swahili and Burmese.

What can a city do for its schools, first responders, and government agencies when the language mix becomes so complex? An elegant solution has arrived in the form of an on-demand interpreting app that provides one-touch connections to professional linguists.

Bowling Green has embraced this innovative technology. The city is now using on-demand interpreting to assist in communicating with its diverse community.

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Coronavirus: What if Your Patient is Limited English Speaking?

Medical Interpreter

The fast-spreading coronavirus, which has infected more than 8,200 people across the world, has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Hours earlier, the U.S. confirmed its first human-to-human transmission of the virus, which has killed more than 200 people in China and now has spread to at least 18 other countries.

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