Providing meaningful language access for patients is at the forefront of needs for healthcare entities. The Limited English-Proficient population has grown to over 25.1 million in the United States (8.5%), and the changes in healthcare regulations for hospitals and healthcare providers have made it imperative for healthcare providers to focus on improving healthcare language services. But all LSPs are not created equal. So how do you know which provider to choose? In this post, we’ll outline the eight key qualities that healthcare professionals should consider to find the best language service provider to suit their needs.
8 Things You Need From a Healthcare Language Services Partner
1. Certified Medical Interpreters
When choosing a healthcare language services company, it is important that your language service provider use only qualified medical interpreters (Affordable Care Act Section 1557). This regulation raises calls for qualified interpreters (not just competent). A qualified interpreter will adhere to interpreter code of ethics, patient confidentiality, and privacy (HIPAA). Your healthcare language services partner should use interpreters who specialize in medical interpreting and are well-versed in medical terminology.
At Telelanguage, our interpreters are certified medical interpreters. Our national certification program, Telelanguage Interpreter Certification Program (TICP), provides in-depth training and certification, as well as Academic Medical Training & Healthcare Interpreting Ethics that exceed the National Board of Medical Interpreters Requirements.
2. Complete Language Services to Fit Your Needs
Whether your system uses primarily over-the-phone interpreting services or On-site interpretation services, getting the support you need for ANY situation should be key when choosing a healthcare language services provider. Communicating when language barriers are present is difficult. Accessing language support must be simple. Consider a healthcare language services agency with on-demand over-the-phone interpreting, video remote interpreting (VRI), on-site interpreting, and written translation services.
3. Fast Connect Times
The medical and healthcare industry moves quickly, and you need and dedicated language services partner that moves quickly too. Time
should not be wasted waiting to connect with an interpreter. From patient satisfaction to emergency situations, mere second matters. Partner with a healthcare language services company with fast (seconds) connect times.
Our current customer base is 70% healthcare entities and we don’t leave our customers on hold. Telelanguage provides the fastest connection times in the industry, allowing you connect to a certified medical interpreter in seconds.
4. Get to the Right Interpreter to Fit Your Needs, Every Time.
When working with over-the-phone interpreters, your healthcare language services partner should offer a skills-based call routing (SBR) strategy. This approach allows you to connect with the most suitable interpreter for your specific needs, rather than just being routed to any available interpreter, based on skill set, specialty, experience, and certifications.
Telelanguage provides our clients with filter-based qualification interpreter connect to get you to the most qualified certified interpreter for your situation.
5. Interpretation Technology
Your healthcare language services provider should be using leading-edge interpretation technology to get clients connected quickly, securely and accurately. How does technology factor into language services? Language services is a fast-moving industry and your LSP’s technology has to be able to move as quickly. National emergencies or outages cannot affect the ability of a language services agency specializing in healthcare and emergency medical services.
Telelanguage’s technology is proprietary and owned by Telelanguage. Our competitors use Telelanguage technology. During national emergencies, regional power outages, and mass internet outages, Telelanguage steps in to route traffic so that our customers – and even the customers of our competitors can receive uninterrupted high-quality service.
6. 24/7/365 Language Support
Emergencies can’t wait for an LSP to take time off. Any healthcare language services provider you consider should offer language support at all times…24/7/365 so you always have access to dedicated customer support and to certified medical interpreters.
At Telelanguage, we provide support with a 24/7 one-point-of-contact account management system. Our clients can connect to certified medical interpreters and get the customer service support they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
7. Ease of Setup (or Transition)
If you’re considering switching language services providers, be sure that your LSP can handle your transition effortlessly and provide the
necessary materials to comply with government regulations and better serve your patients. The LSP should provide service access and equipment training to help your staff with the transition process.
Telelanguage offers fast and seamless transitions for our healthcare clients, including training and compliance materials. Telelanguage also offers free cultural awareness training to help our clients work effectively with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients. Both training and support emphasis help create a positive environment where linguistically and culturally diverse populations interact.
8. Billing Transparency
If it’s time to look for a language services partner (or switch from a current LSP) be clear of the billing procedures, any minimums and a guarantee of rates. While customer support, technology, and accuracy are paramount for providing language services, you also need to know exactly what your healthcare language services costs are without hidden charges.
At Telelanguage, optimizing interpretation costs for our customers is important to us. We offer cost-effective interpretation services at a low per-minute rate so our healthcare clients can ramp up or lower services based on needs in real time. All ancillary account services with Telelanguage are free, which means no account setup fees, no monthly fees, access to additional access codes and/or toll-free numbers, free monthly reports, secure real-time online reporting, custom printed access material, on-site staff training, and that rates will ever increase.
Implementing and improving language access programs is key in healthcare settings and carefully choosing your healthcare language services partner will allow you to optimize interpretation cost while increasing overall patient satisfaction, increase efficiency, reduce readmission rates, and decrease communication errors that can lead to safety events.
Telelanguage has been a trusted name in healthcare language services since 1991. As a top provider of interpreter services, we believe that all health care organizations should have affordable access to the best-qualified language service support. Telelanguage medical interpretation helps to improve the quality of hospital and healthcare language services while working to reduce interpretation costs.
Looking for a more reliable language service provider to help you meet patient needs? Telelanguage can help! Request a Free Demo.
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