Partner With Healthcare Language Services Providers
Because Sometimes You Just Can’t Do It Alone
America — A Multilingual Mosaic
America – the home of the brave, the land of the free, and a proud nation built by immigrants. For the past 243 years, the United States has continued to welcome people from every corner of the globe. Today, there are nearly 45 million US residents who were born in another country, accounting for just under 14 percent of the total US population.
U.S. Spanish-speaking and LEP Population
Today, more than 20% of the US-population speaks a language other than English (LOTE) at home, over 60% of whom are native Spanish speakers. In fact, by 2050, the US Census office predicts that the United States will be home to roughly 138 million Spanish speakers, which would make America the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. How cool is that?
Although the vast majority of residents with limited English proficiency (LEP) lives in southern and coastal regions of the United States, the US-LOTE population spans the entire country.
So, how has the federal government responded to a growing linguistically-diverse population?
Language Access Laws for the Healthcare Industry
Some of the newest regulations that readily come to mind include the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), Section 1557, and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Each of these regulations can result in either significant financial loss or gain in federal funding — the trick lies with language access. Healthcare facilities that provide patients with appropriate language access lessen the chances of monetary penalties and increase the likelihood of monetary rewards.
With so much at stake, many healthcare providers are turning to LSPs to assist in ensuring they remain legally compliant.
Healthcare Language Services
Under federal protections, LEP patients have the right to receive qualified medical interpreting services at no charge. Medical interpreters offer their services in any one of three modalities, including in-person (IPI), over the phone (OTP), and via video remote technology (VRI).
In addition to interpreting services, LEP patients also require the translation of their healthcare-related documentation. Due to the critically important nature of these documents, translation should only be handled by qualified professionals who are properly trained in medical terminology. When vital information is not translated in an effective, accurate, and timely fashion, a healthcare facility’s (or insurance company’s) reputation — not to mention a patient’s well-being— may be put at risk.
When organizations work to bridge the language gap for their patients and place value on patient-provider communication, they improve outcomes for all. Not only has improved language access shown to lower the 30-day readmission rates, but it has also increased overall patient satisfaction. Insurance companies who invest in professional translation services also stand to win, as they are likely to increase their client base.
Best Practices in Healthcare Translation – It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Choosing a translation partner to handle your clients’ healthcare documents can be a daunting task. Not only is it both difficult and time consuming to sift through the hundreds of translation companies on the market all claiming to offer the same services, but keeping apprised of government regulations and industry advancements takes a toll.
In the United States, government policies related to healthcare change quickly, and healthcare-related documents need to be continuously updated to reflect these changes. Frequent advancements in medical and pharmaceutical treatments also require translation for a growing multilingual audience. How can single-language (SLVs) and multi-language vendors (MLVs) choose the right translation partner for their projects? Lucky for you, we’ve boiled it down to three key steps that companies can take to find their ideal translation partners.
1. Industry Specialists
Look for translation companies with expertise in the healthcare field. Do they have experience with medical and pharmaceutical translation? Do they demonstrate in-depth knowledge of industry-specific terminology? Are they up-to-date with government regulations that affect the healthcare sector? Asking the right questions will help you to narrow down your choices.
2. Advanced Technology
Search for translation companies that use specialized translation software that enables accurate and efficient translation of multiple documents and has the capability of translating various types of documentation. It is also imperative that the technology is proven to offer the strictest standards in security and confidentiality as you are dealing with highly sensitive information. There is even translation technology that allows for translation memory and dynamic machine learning, among other features. Shop around to find an LSP that offers translation and other related services that suit your unique needs.
3. Linguistic Expertise
For those of us in the language services industry, we understand that translation means a lot more than simply word-to-word correspondence. In fact, translation is as much an art form as it is a science, and translators who have an intimate understanding of both the source and target language’s culture, history, values, and norms will be in a much better position to offer accurate, culturally-relevant translations.
When actively seeking out your next healthcare translation partner, don’t be afraid to ask these three essential questions:
- Does the company offer native speakers in the target language/s?
- Does the professional translation team offer additional services such as PMs and DTP?
- Are there subject matter experts (SMEs) onboard?
Finding the Right Partner is Like Icing on the Cake
It’s that high season again in the United States — translation volumes for the healthcare industry skyrocket and the demands for quick turnaround times increase. MLVs and SLVs are once again on the hunt for translation partners that can seamlessly handle large volumes of work. Ideally, finding a partner that can handle translation, editing, and proofreading (TEP), as well as desktop publishing (DTP) and other language-related services would be a welcomed gift this time of year.
It is also important however, to find partners that have in-depth healthcare industry knowledge, advanced technology capabilities, and linguistic expertise. But that’s not all. Finding a company that also excels in the Spanish language (including all of its linguistic variations) would be the proverbial icing on the cake, and delsurtranslations might just be that icing — or should we say, “la cereza del pastel?”
At delsurtranslations, you’ll find a dedicated team of translation professionals who not only offer all language and graphic design services, but who also offer a staff of native Spanish speakers well versed in the diverse linguistic variations of the Spanish language. delsur’s seasoned project management team handles high volumes of healthcare translation work even during the busy season, providing you with a one-stop shop for all of your healthcare translation needs.
Give delsurtranslations a call today — they have you covered!
1 Hispanics’ buying power in the U.S., 1990-2020. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/251438/hispanics-buying-power-in-the-us/
2 Burton, J. (2015, December 30). The Most Spoken Languages In America. Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-spoken-languages-in-america.html