Our world today is interconnected. So interconnected that, we promote tourism to cities known for being cultural melting pots. The United States is particularly diverse, especially when considering language. As such, there has been a growing need for translation and interpretation in the medical field. Doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities the world over are becoming more and more adept at serving a diverse array of patients’ needs and accommodating non-English-speaking patients.
The Surprising Impact of Timely Translation
Several hospitals in the Midwest have joined the growing number of medical facilities that employ video-remote interpreting services to assist patients who speak little or no English. According to a case study by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, it can be of great comfort to non-English-speaking patients to hear their native tongues, particularly if they are in a hospital without the support of their families. Fear and confusion can be softened by a gesture as seemingly small as making sure they understand everything that’s going on. Native tongue translations enable the patient to ask questions and engage with their provider in meaningful ways along their healing journey. Without this ability, the margin for fatal errors drastically increases.
The necessity for medical translation and medical device translation extends beyond the notion of patient care. Medical document translators can help doctors who receive patient information from other non-English-speaking countries. So, the need for medical document translation is as important for the doctor as it is for the patient. Having a strong medical document and device translation plan in place allows hospitals to reach potential patients who would have otherwise been hindered in there approach to seeking care.
The 6 Essential Documents To Translate
For hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities who are new to the idea of medical document translation, it can be hard to know where to begin and a facility’s budget may be limited. So here are the absolutely essential documents that need to be translated within the medical community.
Website and Marketing Materials
Websites allow potential patients to get a sense of the type of care they can expect at your facility; and, having that information available to a patient in his or her native language will go a long way toward making that patient feel empowered. Websites also serve as the first place people go to find information on a hospital or doctor, so, optimizing as well as localizing your website into the languages prevalent in your geographic area invaluable action steps to take.
This is particularly important in larger hospitals and medical facilities. As much as possible, signage should be available in multiple languages or provide assistive visual descriptions. The hospital or clinic should choose the most common languages that the facility serves in order to help patients feel at ease and confident with the care they are receiving. Hospital stays can be stressful enough without a patient having to worry about getting lost or stumbling into the wrong room. This type of translation also aids the doctors and other staff members, as a patient who can find their own way around is less likely to stumble into a place where they shouldn’t be.
Patient Intake and Information Forms
For better or worse, the medical community is one of seemingly endless paperwork. Some of the most important things to translate are patients’ intake and information forms, and this has to happen at both ends. Forms need to be in a patient’s native tongue, and translation needs to be made available for the completed form into the language of the physician. Likewise, forms from foreign clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices need to be translated for the doctors in order to give the team a full picture of the patient’s health and history.
Clinical Trial documents
Clinical trials are at the forefront of medical development, producing profoundly valuable information about new courses of care for a myriad of illnesses. Anyone regardless of their native language, who is considering experimental treatment needs to be made fully aware of the risks — and possible rewards — involved in embarking on such a path. Clinical trial document translation will ensure that there are no gaps in communication.
Informed Consent Forms
How informed can a patient really be if they are being informed in a language that they are not fluent in? In any case, when a patient is giving consent to a medical or surgical procedure, a clinical trial, or to participate in a medical study, he or she needs to be fully aware of what is being agreed to. Informed consent form translation is the only way to communicate such pertinent information in a thorough and accurate way.
When a non-English-speaking patient receives their care, they are often left with a prescription that they have to administer themselves. It is vital, then, that the prescription labels and accompanying documentation are translated into the patient’s native tongue. This ensures that the patient will understand what kind of drug interactions, if any, their medication might have as well as when to take it, whether or not to avoid alcohol, take it with food, or to avoid using machinery and the like.
Any hospital or medical facility that serves a diverse population needs to be prepared to communicate with speakers of numerous languages and needs to have important information readily available in all of their patients’ native tongues. At Lingualinx, translation is the heart of everything we do. If you or a medical facility you know are in need of medical translation services, Lingualinx can be your connection to a better standard of communication.