On-Demand Interpretation Service Partnership Improving Efficiency, Patient Experience

July 20, 2021 | by MEDNAX
On-Demand Interpretation Service Partnership Improving Efficiency, Patient Experience

A new investment in technology is improving both the patient experience and clinician efficiency, making it easier to “take great care of the patient.”

Clinicians in the Mednax family now have access to on-demand health care interpretation services through a partnership with LanguageLine Solutions, the world leader in on-demand language access. LanguageLine uses cloud-based, digital technology as opposed to a traditional phone service. Previously when interpreter services were needed, staff would call a phone line and request an interpreter to be sourced over the phone. This presented several challenges for both the clinician and patient experience: interpreters were not always available; the connection was often unreliable; and certain aspects of communication—like visual or verbal cues and nuances— were often missed because of the nature of audio-only interpretation.

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With LanguageLine, clinicians and patients now have on-demand access to more than 15,000 interpreters via video or audio-only. These certified interpreters are available 24/7 in more than 240 languages. In addition to being available via a toll-free number, linguists can also be reached via the LanguageLine app, which allows for one-touch, on-demand access. The video service includes American Sign Language (ASL), which previously required an in-person interpreter. The use of on-demand video interpretation helps ensure compliance with federal language-access requirements. In total, this service enables a better patient experience for those who speak limited English or are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Because of its wide network, this service also offers scalability to Mednax practices and clinicians. For example, LanguageLine shares that each day, its platform may handle 100,000 Spanish interpretation calls. Those calls are answered in an average of about eight seconds, as compared to an industry standard of 30 seconds.

LanguageLine’s video interpretation services were piloted for our Mednax practices by the team at Maryland Perinatal Associates, which operates multiple clinics in and around Rockville, Md. “Our practice has seen patients in need of interpretation better grasp the information, likely because they can both see and hear the interpreter,” said Wayne Kramer, M.D., practice medical director.

“The efficient process of connecting to an interpreter also saved a lot of time. We found that LanguageLine helped streamline many of our clinician consultations, genetic counseling sessions and diabetic educational opportunities,” added Dr. Kramer.

“As of spring 2021, LanguageLine’s video interpretation services have been implemented and are in use at about a dozen Mednax-affiliated practices, thanks, in part, to the ease-of-installation,” said Nick Glaser, vice president of ambulatory services.

The LanguageLine application is easily installed and accessed on any computer or mobile device. “At Mednax, we’re committed to finding ways to improve both the patient experience and the clinician experience, especially if that involves an emphasis on improving patient safety and outcomes,” said Glaser.

“Thanks to the great feedback from our practice trials, we’re excited to continue implementing this technology and monitoring its impact on our family of practices.”

To learn more and view LanguageLine video interpretation, check out this brief video.