Patient Satisfaction in Hospital Settings: On-Site Vs. Remote Interpretation

Patient Satisfaction in Hospital Settings: Methods of Interpretation | Telelanguage

Hospital-white-backThe increase of foreign-born populations and linguistic diversity in the U.S. has led to higher numbers of limited English proficient (LEP) patients. One in five United States residents speaks a non-English language at home, and 25 million people in the U.S. speak English “less than very well.” What does this mean in a health care setting? When a patient seeks medical care, effective communication is at the center of patient satisfaction and positive health outcomes. But if there is a language barrier between the patient the doctor, nurse, or staff, it can be difficult to for the patient to feel satisfied with their experience or adhere to aftercare instructions and follow-up recommendations. That’s why health care interpreting services are at at the heart of patient satisfaction in hospital settings.


But what method of interpretation should be used? Is on-site better than video remote? What about via telephone?


Does the Method of Interpretation in Impact Patient Satisfaction in Hospital Settings?


While the need for language services have risen in medical settings, innovative medical interpreting strategies, including remote interpreting technology like Video Remote Interpretation and Telephonic Interpretation, have risen alongside On-Site Interpretation to address the language barrier in an efficient and timely manner.

Providing a professional medical interpreter is clearly important to be able to provide the appropriate quality of care for limited English proficient patients. For hospitals seeking to improve HCAHPS scores and patient satisfaction, the method of interpreting may be of concern to health care professionals. While there are definitely best practices for choosing a remote method of interpreting, does the method of interpretation impact patient satisfaction in hospital settings?


In a recent review (compiled of eight studies) published by,  there were interesting findings regarding patient satisfaction with professional interpreters – whether by telephonic or video interpretation, or on-site interpretation.

Here’s what they uncovered…


  • There is evidence of higher satisfaction with hospital-trained interpreters compared with ad hoc (friend or family)


  • There is no difference in satisfaction between in-person interpreting, telephone interpreting, or interpretation provided by the treating bilingual physician


  • Video interpreting has the same satisfaction as in-person interpreting, regardless of whether the patient and the physician are in the same room.

Source: “Patient satisfaction of telephone or video interpreter services compared with in-person services: a systematic review.”


In terms of increasing patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores, there doesn’t seem to be a preferred method of interpretation for overall patient satisfaction.


What IS clearly important is that Language Access makes a difference, specifically, access to medically trained, professional interpreters.  


A qualified language services partner can help with the specific needs of your organization and assist you in determining which interpreting method is appropriate for specific situations.


The Positive Impact of Professional Interpreters in Hospital Settings

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), LEP patients receiving language interpretation has a positive impact in many areas. Watch the video below for a few key benefits of professional interpretation in hospital settings…


Your Health Care Language Services Partner

When language barriers arise in healthcare settings, you need support you can trust to protect the LEP patient experience. At Telelanguage, we provide that support with a 24/7 one-point-of-contact account management system. Over 70% of our current client base are healthcare entities. Language services ensure safety, accuracy, and efficiency when caring for patients in healthcare settings. Telelanguage offers healthcare clients complete language services in over 300 languages to communicate with LEP patients:

  • Certified medical interpreters available 24/7, 365 days a year telephonically, on-site, and via video remote
  • Translation of vital documents, patient forms and notices
  • Fastest interpreter connect times in the industry
  • Leading-edge proprietary interpretation technology
  • Best medically trained interpreters in the emergency healthcare industry
  • Free Cultural Awareness training to help organizations work effectively LEP patients


Language Access in Healthcare: Health Care Interpretation Services eBook | Telelanguage

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Telelanguage Helps Clients Achieve and Maintain Compliance

  • Affordable Care Act, Section 1557 (ACA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA)
  • The Joint Commission
  • Protected Health Information (PHI)


Want to learn more about how quality language services impact patient care?

Download the Free  Industry Resource for Health Care Professionals – “The Healthcare Interpretation Guide: Language Access for a Better Patient Experience.” [Download the Free eBook!]


Have questions about interpretation solutions for your organization? Contact us for a free quote, or schedule a free demo to learn how Telelanguage can improve the quality of communication for you and your patients.


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Call us today at 888-983-5352

Quality and expert interpretations for medical appointments are available telephonically, face to face, or by video remote!