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Language Training for Medical Staff Can Keep Health Care from Getting Lost in Translation

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 13, 2018

A non-English-speaking mother-to-be arrives at a hospital to give birth, unaware that her pregnancy is high-risk. The clinic where she had her pre-natal appointments did not use professional interpreters. Instead the clinic relied on the serious news being conveyed by the woman’s sister-in-law, who did not have the heart to explain the diagnosis. The woman is told at the hospital that her child will not make it.

A 9-year-old Vietnamese girl arrives at the emergency room with what appears to be a severe stomach flu. The girls’ parents do not speak English. Instead of using a professional interpreter, hospital staff instead speaks only to the girl and her 16-year-old brother about her prescription, sending them home with instructions that the girl should return if she experiences specific side effects. The girl ends up having a negative reaction to the drug. She suffers a heart attack and dies.

These real-life outcomes seem as if they should have happened in days gone by. Sadly, these events took place recently. Even worse, they are not uncommon despite readily available on-demand language services.

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How to Determine Your Needs for Medical Document Translation

Posted by Cory Markert on November 28, 2017

You’re probably already aware of the documents your healthcare organization is legally required to translate. Translating these vital documents—such as informed consent documents, discharge instructions and complaint forms—ensures your organization complies with federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on national origin.

However, if your organization is committed to providing all patients with the best possible care at every stage, it’s not enough. That’s why it’s so important to consider the entire patient experience—and your entire organization—as you think about your document translation needs for the coming year.

Here are some important areas you can’t afford to overlook.

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The Six Medical Documents You Must Translate to Remain Compliant

Posted by Suzy duMont-Perez on August 15, 2017

As a health care provider, the patient is always your main concern. Of course, the care you provide is also guided by laws and regulations. While some of these laws and regulations can make the jobs of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other providers more complicated, we can all agree that the majority of them help ensure that patients and health care professionals are protected and everyone can access the same high-quality medical care when it’s needed.

When Translation is the Law

An example of a legal requirement that benefits health care professionals and patients alike is the need to translate vital documents into the languages most commonly found in the area where a hospital or clinic is located. There are six vital documents that must be translated according to law.

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