:: Health care in any language (The Business Press) ::

Health care in any language (The Business Press): “A Chinese woman who spoke only Mandarin was in continuous pain March 10 at Corona Regional Medical Center. The anxious patient needed to communicate with internal medicine physician Philip Hagan, but a Mandarin-speaking interpreter could not be located.

Hagan decided to use a new, interactive voice and video interpretation system the hospital installed in January. Through the conferenced voice call with an interpreter in another state, the woman was able to describe her pain to Hagan.
“Even though we had information from her daughter, the daughter left by the time I got in. She needed me to know the pain she had was different than the pain she’d had before,” said Hagan, who diagnosed the ailment as a bowel obstruction.
“I needed details of her symptoms and past history. … Nobody else in the hospital spoke Mandarin, so it was tough.”
Hagan frequently encounters non-English-speaking patients.” One patient spoke only Farsi and I couldn’t get anyone to help me,” he said.
Corona Regional Medical Center often needs translation for Spanish, Farsi, Laotian, Cantonese and Taiwanese. The hospital previously used a telephone interpretation system and translation by staff, methods that proved cumbersome.
Corona Regional is one of two hospitals in Southern California to begin using the voice and video-conferencing bedside interpretation system called My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter, or Martti.
The two-way, interactive video system replaces Corona Regional’s telephone interpretation service through AT&T and costs less per minute than the telephone system, said Linda Pearson, Corona Regional’s marketing director. “This is so easy because we dial it up and the patient does the interaction,” she said. With the telephone system, health workers and patients needed to pass the phone back and forth to communicate with the interpreter.
The video-based, live interaction also allows quick access to sign language interpreters. Deaf patients previously had to wait for a sign language specialist from an interpretation agency to arrive, Pearson…”

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