A female physician seeing a patient via a telehealth appointment. She's using a laptop and is wearing a white lab coat and stethoscope around her neck.

3 Reasons Why Providers Need to Embrace Remote Interpreting in Healthcare

A female physician seeing a patient via a telehealth appointment. She's using a laptop and is wearing a white lab coat and stethoscope around her neck.

Remote interpretation helps providers in healthcare serve changing populations

It can be challenging for healthcare providers to support patients who speak other languages. And effective medical care hinges on both the practitioner and patient being able to fully understand each other. 

Remote medical interpretation can help you with that. Not only will you be in compliance with laws and regulations, but you’ll also be better prepared to effectively treat all your patients, on demand.

Every day, healthcare professionals across the country rely on remote interpreters to connect with their patients. 

And you can, too! 

Here are three reasons we think healthcare organizations should embrace telephone and video interpreters.

1. It’s the law

Simply put: certain laws require language access. 

If you work at a healthcare organization that receives federal funds, your org is legally required to provide interpreting and translation services. 

A few of the federal laws that cover language access in healthcare include:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Some states and regulatory bodies (like The Joint Commission) also have their own requirements around language access. So it’s important to familiarize yourself with any that might apply to you.

Being able to quickly connect with a qualified telephone or video interpreter is key to any language access plan. Healthcare organizations can retain the services of a remote interpreting service provider to help ensure compliance. 

At the end of the day, these rules are in place to make sure every person can access healthcare services in the language they feel most comfortable speaking. And that’s a win-win for everyone. 

Related: How Medical Interpreters Can Make Healthcare More Equitable for LEP Patients

2. Healthcare is going virtual — and medical interpreters are, too

With healthcare increasingly delivered virtually, language access needs to reflect that trend. Telemedicine — also referred to as telehealth — allows real-time video or audio appointments between patients and their healthcare provider. It’s a hot topic right now, and part of a larger conversation around the accessibility of healthcare. 

Patients are looking for medical care that’s affordable, effective, and easily available, from a safe distance. To meet those expectations, providers need to use remote language services that offer similar convenience.

It all comes down to communication and patient care. To act in your patients’ best interest, healthcare organizations need to provide accessible healthcare that contributes to each patient’s understanding of their health.

Related: The Role and Benefits of Healthcare Interpreters in a Medical Environment

3. Remote interpreting lets you communicate with patients in many languages 

Even though the U.S. doesn’t have an official language, English is often treated as the default. But in reality, more than 1 in 5 people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home, and almost 1 in 10 people speak English less than very well.

We think that’s pretty special! 

It also means healthcare providers need to prepare themselves to treat every patient, no matter what language they speak.

Many hospitals and healthcare organizations staff on-site interpreters in the languages most commonly spoken by their patients, like Spanish and Vietnamese. Relying on telephone interpreters and video interpreters can help fill the gaps for the other languages you encounter less often. 

You have options with remote interpreters

Whether your goals are compliance, multilingual telehealth services, or wider language support, you get more options and on-demand connections with telephone and video interpreters. 

As a language service provider that’s offered remote interpreters for 25+ years in 230+ languages, CLI can support all your goals. 

Request a Quote to start the conversation about how our healthcare interpreters can help you communicate with your non-English-speaking patients.