The importance of language services for COVID-19 vaccine distribution is critically important to the United States’ vaccination efforts. Language access continues to be an essential tool during the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of November 16th, 2020, there were over 23.3 million cases of coronavirus (and nearly 389k deaths) in the United States. The largest vaccination in history is underway, December 14th, 2020, marked the day on which vaccinations in the US. According to a state-by-state tally by Bloomberg and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.9 million doses were given by January 14th, 2021.
As the U.S. continues its vaccine distribution campaign, the effort to provide language access to the 1 in 5 United States residents who speak a language other than English at home is crucial to ensuring that limited English proficient (LEP) populations have the information they need regarding the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce further health disparities and to keep immigrant, refugee, LEP, Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities safe. One key way to slow the spread during the ongoing Public Health Emergency (PHE) is through language services, which include language interpretation and written translation services.
Around 9% of the United States population is limited in their use of English. Language services for COVID-19 vaccine distribution aid federal, state, and local government, as well as health departments around the country in informing and caring for individuals with whom there is a language barrier and their communities. Using professional language services for COVID-19 vaccine distribution is essential for refugee and immigrant communities, especially considering that minority communities, which include Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
As we continue to deal with the PHE in the United States, it’s important to understand how language access can positively impact vaccine distribution campaigns and keep communities safe.
Language Services for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
How Comprehensive Language Access Programs Positively Impact Government Agencies
- Lowers costs by maximizing resources and cutting down on time and resources spent dealing with miscommunication errors
- Achieve and enhance government compliance and regulatory compliance with relevant legislation
- Increases the efficiency and productivity of public services
- Aids in a positive response to PHEs and public safety
- Promotes community integration in immigrant, refugee, and LEP communities
- Increases staff adoption
- Enables government agencies to build a higher level of trust and satisfaction with the communities they serve
The Impact of Language Access for Health Care
Language barriers in hospital settings can contribute to avoidable readmissions, including lower rates of outpatient follow-up, use of preventive services, medication adherence, and the ability to understand discharge diagnosis and instructions. The CMS Guide to Reducing Disparities in Readmissions recommends the following for reducing readmission rates for LEP patients.
- Ensure that patients with limited English proficiency are aware of and have access to professional medical interpreter services during inpatient stays, during discharge, and when accessing post-hospital care.
- Communicate discharge instructions in the patient’s preferred language. Provide written materials at an appropriate literacy level (5th grade or lower, as recommended by the Joint Commission) and in the preferred language of the patient and/or caregiver. Simply translating written instructions may be insufficient to ensure patient understanding.
- Include family members and/or caregivers in care as appropriate, work with members of the extended care team (such as community health workers), and coordinate with traditional healers to help facilitate culturally competent care for patients with limited English proficiency.
Translated Materials Provide Information to Communities in Need
Healthcare translations are written translations prepared for numerous healthcare fields. Translated materials play a crucial role in helping state and local health departments communicate effectively with limited English proficient (LEP) patients and communities.
Patients who are limited in their use of the English language must be able to fully understand their health condition, treatment, and follow-up instructions. In addition to healthcare facilities, providing written translations of public health notices, instructions, prevention information, and contact tracing communications is vital to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Increase Professional Language Services for all COVID-19 Communications
Language access is important at every step to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including:
- vaccine distribution,
- contact tracing,
- treatment for LEP and Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients diagnosed with COVID-19,
- helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested, and
- COVID-19 awareness and public safety measures.
Strengthening language access efforts through the vaccine distribution campaign helps government and health care departments to:
- Reduces miscommunication errors
- Raise awareness of public health measures and health information
- Compliance with government regulations and standards
- Help reduce the spread of COVID-19 amongst non-English speaking populations
- Increases productivity of vaccination and contact tracing efforts
- Along with VRI, telephonic interpretation provides a fast response to urgent situations.
In order to effectively support LEP and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans, information must be provided in the language needed to communicate with patients and communities. Written Translation Services, Telephonic Interpretation, and Video Remote Interpretation can be used to support direct communication.
How Telelanguage Can Help
Qualified medical interpreters are available 24/7, 365 days a year to overcome language and cultural barriers to ensure patient communication – at every step of a patient’s journey. 70% of Telelanguage clients are health care entities, and we have extensive experience in multiple areas that require the use of medical interpreters and government interpreters.
Health Care Organizations We Help
- Urgent Cares
- Emergency Departments
- Health Insurance
- Medicare Health Plans
- Nursing Homes
- Private Practices
- Community Health Centers
- Home Health Care
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Government Agencies at Federal, State, and Local levels
- 9-1-1 Emergency Services
- Public Health Agencies
- Vaccine Sites
Language Services to Fit Your Needs
When language barriers arise, you need a language services provider that can respond quickly to the unique needs of your organization. Telelanguage provide language access solutions to improve language services for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and all COVID-19 related care. Certified Medical interpreters are available 24/7/365 days a year.
- Telephonic Interpretation
- Video Remote Interpretation
- On-Site Interpretation
- Translation Services
Over-the-Phone Interpretation is an on-demand, remote interpreting service that offers a fast response when urgent or unexpected language barriers come up. Available at a low per-minute rate, Telephonic Interpreting allows health departments and health care providers to connect to an interpreter in seconds, in over 350 languages. Telelanguage offers the fastest connect times in the industry with an average connect time of 7 seconds, and is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Video Remote Interpreting
Video Remote Interpreting is an on-demand interpretation solution that bridges the gap between over-the-phone interpreting and on-site interpreting.
Benefits of Video Remote Interpreting: Download the Free Whitepaper!
For health care providers utilizing telehealth technology or video conferencing, VRI allows you to easily connect to a live, medically-trained video interpreter in seconds, adding visual support of your interpreter to help the conversation for you and your patients.
Simple, seamless, and secure, Telelanguage’s robust Video Remote Interpretation platform connects your LEP patients to certified medical interpreters through one simple application in seconds, accessible from any PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Telelanguage has the capacity to translate documents, including COVID-19 communications, from English to over 100 target languages and vice versa. Telelanguage only uses Translators that have Native Fluency in both the Target Language and English, and all translations are performed by a subject-matter expert.
Commonly Translated Documents Include:
- Notices of Free Language Assistance
- Notice of Eligibility
- Discharge Instructions
- Intake Forms
- Complaint Forms
- Informed Consent Documents
- Clinical Protocols
- Case Report Forms
- Marketing Collateral
- Prescription Labels
- COVID-19 Notices
COVID-19 Language Support: No Contract Required Language Services
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Telelanguage is offering all new contracts our language interpretation and translation services with no contract required.
Confidentiality and Compliance
Confidentiality and security of patient information are critical to language access for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, just as in any health care setting. Telelanguage provides 100% HIPAA compliant services, providing meaningful language access in in health care settings and compliance to meet the requirements of:
- Affordable Care Act, Section 1557 (ACA)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA)
- Protected Health Information (PHI)
- The Joint Commission
Why Organizations are Switching to Telelanguage
- Medically Trained and Certified Interpreters
- HIPAA Compliant Services
- Lower Cost
- Free Service Trial Programs
- Best-in-Industry Call Volume Discount Plans
- Proprietary Technology
- Quick Interpreter Connect to 350+ Languages
- Confidentiality Compliance
- Greater Flexibility
- Responsive Support
Telelanguage has been providing customers with the highest quality of language service since 1991. We support over 350 languages, 24x7x365 utilizing 6,000+ U.S.-based interpreters. Telelanguage currently supports over 8,000 accounts around the world – in all industries. Services include over-the-phone, on-site, and video remote interpretation, as well as document translations, interpreter management and scheduling, reporting, invoicing, language assessment evaluations, and much more. Contact us for more information about language support for your organization.
Certified medical interpreters ready to speak in over 300 languages!
Call Telelanguage today at 888-983-5352
Professional interpreter services available telephonically, face to face, or via video remote!