Telephonic Interpretation in Healthcare: Improving the Quality of Patient Care (Infographic)

Telephonic Interpretation in Healthcare: Improving the Quality of Patient Care | Telelanguage

Healthcare language services - certified medical interpreters

The need for telephonic interpretation in healthcare starts when you need to communicate with a limited-English proficient patient but are not able to due to a language barrier. In this instance, connecting to a certified medical interpreter in order to communicate quickly and effectively becomes necessary. Telephonic Interpretation is an on-demand, remote interpreting service that offers a fast response when urgent or unexpected language barriers come up.

Research has found the use of professional medical interpreters to positively impact patient care. In fact, “Use of professional interpreters is associated with improved clinical care more than is use of ad hoc interpreters, and professional interpreters appear to raise the quality of clinical care for LEP patients to approach or equal that for patients without language barriers.”

Here are 10 facts to help you understand the importance of telephonic interpretation in healthcare.

10 Facts About Healthcare Interpretation and Patient Safety (Infographic)

Telephonic Interpretation in Healthcare: 10 Facts About Healthcare Interpretation and Patient Safety (Infographic) | Telelanguage

1. About 21% of the United States population does not have high English proficiency –US Census Bureau.

2. 9% of the United States population is at risk for an adverse patient safety event as the result of a language discrepancy – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

3. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic-origin population increased by 43%, which accounts for more than half of the 27.3 million increase in the total population of the United States in that decade.

4. Since 2000, the Asian population has increased by 43.3%, making it the fastest growing major racial group.

5. Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be readmitted for certain chronic conditions than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

6. LEP patients have greater difficulty understanding discharge instructions, including how to manage their condition, take their medications, recognize symptoms that should prompt a return to care, and know when to follow up. – NCBI

7. Hospital readmission rates can be a financial risk for health care systems, who may receive penalties for excessive readmission rates. In addition to penalties, readmission rates can significantly impact hospital CMS star ratings.

8. In 2015, Medicare fined a record 2,610 hospitals with readmission penalties. – Kaiser Health News

9. Trained medical interpreters can reduce errors in care for patients with limited English proficiency.

10. The odds of a clinically significant error were about 75% lower in visits with trained interpreters compared to ad hoc interpreters.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that in addition to high readmission rates, racial and ethnic minorities (including LEP patients) also present a higher degree of certain health-related concerns, including:

  • An increased risk of longer stays at the hospital
  • Higher rates of anxiety and depression
  • Less access to primary care providers
  • Inadequate follow-up care after discharge
  • Multiple co-morbidities
  • Socioeconomic pressure (e.g. underinsurance, social isolation, housing and food security issues, lack of access to transportation, lack of employment opportunities)


Video Guide: Best Practices for Using Telephonic Interpreters in Hospitals

Understanding simple best practices for using telephonic interpretation in healthcare helps facilitate meaningful communication between healthcare providers and Limited-English Proficient (LEP) patients.

Best Practices for Using Telephonic Interpreters in Hospitals | Telelanguage

The Impact of Telephonic Interpretation in Healthcare:

  • Enhances customer/patient satisfaction
  • Reduces miscommunication errors
  • Most cost-effective interpretation solution
  • Improves efficiency
  • Increases productivity and staff adoption
  • Telephonic interpretation in healthcare settings provides a response in seconds for urgent or emergency situations.

Telephonic interpreting offers a cost-effective interpreting solution and is perfect for most spoken language interpreting situations that do not require non-verbal cues or visual contact with the interpreter.

The growth of language diversity in the United States makes interpreter services a valuable part of patient care at every touchpoint of the patient journey. When a patient seeks medical care, effective communication is at the center of positive health outcomes, but when there are language barriers, qualified interpreters will have a positive impact on patient care, including a higher quality of clinical care, improved care, higher levels of patient satisfaction, fewer communication errors, a greater comprehension of diagnoses and follow up care instructions, and lower rates of readmission.

Healthcare Settings That Benefit From Telephonic Interpretation Services

  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Telehealth
  • Urgent Care and Emergency Medicine
  • Health Insurance
  • Medicare Health Plans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Private Practices
  • Clinics
  • Community Health Centers
  • Home Health Care
  • Rehabilitation Centers


Your Healthcare Language Services Partner

Telelanguage offers healthcare clients complete language services to communicate with LEP patients:

  • Certified medical interpreters available 24/7/365 telephonicallyon-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

Telelanguage telephonic interpretation provides healthcare organizations with language access solutions to easily integrate a certified medical interpreter.

Available at a low per-minute rate, telephonic interpretation healthcare professionals to connect to an interpreter in seconds, regardless of the language needed. Telelanguage’s proprietary technology ensures that there are no outages during national emergencies and allows you to connect to certified medical interpreters, best qualified for your situation, in over 300 languages.

For a deeper understanding of language access in healthcare, Download the Free eBook, “The Healthcare Interpretation Guide: Language Access for a Better Patient Experience.”



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)


Why Healthcare 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 over 300 languages

When language barriers arise in health care 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.

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Have questions about interpretation solutions for your hospital or health care facility? 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.


Certified medical interpreters ready to speak in over 300 languages!

Call us today at 888-983-5352

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