Intermountain Healthcare of Salt Lake City, UT, recently partnered with Stratus Video Interpreting for on-demand medical interpretation services, which will facilitate better communication and timely care for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and hearing loss. Stratus’ video remote interpreting (VRI) services will supplement Intermountain Healthcare’s in-house translators, enabling staff to quickly access qualified medical interpretation in nearly 200 different spoken and signed languages. The initial rollout featured 750 Stratus-linked mobile iPad units, which have been implemented across Intermountain Healthcare’s 22 hospitals and more than 150 clinics throughout Utah and southeast Idaho.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, Utah had the eighth-fastest-growing LEP population in the United States as of 2010, with 235.2-percent growth over a 10-year period. The Institute’s findings also revealed that 73.1 percent of Utah’s LEP population speaks Spanish, followed by Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Navajo; in Salt Lake City, 68.8 percent of the LEP population speaks Spanish, followed by Chinese, Vietnamese, Serbo-Croatian, and African languages.
Stratus offers video remote interpreting services in the languages spoken by Utah’s top LEP populations, including Spanish, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Vietnamese, and Korean, as well as American Sign Language, Arabic, Bosnian, French, Haitian Creole, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Somali. More than 175 additional languages—including Navajo, Serbo-Croatian, African languages, and others commonly spoken in Utah—are available by over-the-phone interpretation.
Intermountain Healthcare has made frequent use of Stratus’ on-demand medical interpretation services since the January 2015 rollout. In fact, the organization logged approximately 22,000 minutes of interpreting services within the first five weeks alone. “Sometimes the patient’s condition warrants immediate and fast access to those interpretation services,” said Dr. Adam Balls, vice chairman of the emergency department at Intermountain Medical Center. He had the opportunity to use Stratus’ sign language and Spanish video interpreting services shortly after the program launched, and reported that they were “very well received.”
“We are proud of Stratus’ successful partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, and we are dedicated to helping it provide the highest standard of care to LEP patients throughout Utah and from neighboring states,” said David Fetterolf, president of Stratus Video Interpreting. “When patients are able to communicate in their native language, it substantially reduces the risk of misunderstandings that can lead to costly or even fatal mistakes. It also helps put LEP individuals at ease, lessening the fear or anxiety many experience in medical settings.”
While Intermountain Healthcare will continue to provide in-person translators when available, Stratus’ medical interpretation services enable hospital and clinic staff to connect to qualified medical interpreters in less than 30 seconds. “This is particularly important in emergency cases, when mere minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” added Fetterolf.
In addition to the pole-mounted mobile iPad units deployed throughout Intermountain Healthcare’s facilities, Stratus-linked iPads will soon be made available to the organization’s hundreds of home-care nurses as well as on its Life Flight helicopters.