5 Ways to Improve Patient Care with Over the Phone Interpreter Services

 In Interpreting, Language Services, over the phone interpreting

over the phone interpreter services

As a healthcare professional, what’s your top priority?

Of course, it’s to provide the best care possible to all your patients.

That should include patients Limited English Proficiency (LEP), right?

And as you know, clear communication between you and your LEP patients is critical in building the best care plan possible.

How do you ensure effortless communication?

US law requires healthcare facilities to offer qualified interpreters to LEP patients, but it can be time-consuming to schedule in-person interpreters for every single appointment.

Plus, it is nearly impossible to schedule an interpreter for last-minute appointments or emergencies.

Moreover, in this time of social distancing, scheduling in-person interpreter services can be risky.

Fortunately, there’s a solution that makes it easy to access qualified medical interpreters on-demand, and without risk:
ver the Phone Interpreting (OPI).

OPI services give you on-demand access to vetted, qualified interpreters in seconds, improving patient care one call at a time.

Here’s how.

1. Provide Better Access to Care

Your patients come to you for a reason: to receive quality care and guidance from you, their chosen healthcare provider.

They trust you to listen to their medical concerns, answer their questions thoroughly, and to provide an effective treatment plan.

With a professional foreign language interpreter on the line, you both can be confident that your messages transmit seamlessly because over the phone interpreters are experienced, vetted, and specialize in medical terminology.

Best of all… nothing gets lost in translation.

It’s simple. If LEP patients can communicate with you, they will have access to better care—your care.

2. Increase Patient Trust

Patients trust you with their lives, their care, and their wellbeing.

Using OPI services allows you to easily connect with LEP patients on a personal level while building trust and rapport.

Talking through a language professional naturally puts both you and your LEP patients at ease because communication is effortless.

With substantial language support, LEP patients are more likely to continue receiving care from you and more likely to recommend friends and family to your practice.

3. Better Communication, Better Treatment

Clear communication with your patients will always result in better treatment.

Without it, your patient cannot inform you of their symptoms, which could lead to a misdiagnosis, health complications, or a possible lawsuit against your organization for not providing adequate language support.

Unfortunately, many patients and healthcare providers think using bilingual persons to interpret during appointments (like family members or bilingual medical personnel) is adequate for communication.

Let’s get one thing straight. Bilingual isn’t enough.

Why? Because professional interpreters are language experts, and bilingual persons are not. It’s that simple.

Take the tragic story of 18-year-old Willie Ramirez, for example.

Willie’s family took him to an emergency room in south Florida after he suddenly fell into a comatose state.

With no family members proficient in English, they brought in a bilingual family friend to help communicate with medical staff about Willie’s condition.

Unfortunately, the friend misinterpreted the Spanish word “intoxicado” (feeling sick from ingesting something) to “intoxicated” in English.

The incorrect translation led to the medical staff wrongfully diagnosing and treating Willie for a drug overdose, instead of the intracerebellar hemorrhage he was actually experiencing.

Willie developed quadriplegia because the medical staff didn’t treat the hemorrhage quickly enough, and he and his family successfully sued the hospital for $71 million.

Don’t take the risk. Use OPI services, so nothing gets lost in translation.

4. HIPAA Compliant

OPI platforms, websites, and portals are HIPAA compliant, and all medical interpreters are HIPAA trained.

All information entered into the OPI platform, and all communication through the over the phone interpreter stays confidential and secure.

And you can breathe easy knowing you and your patient’s information are protected—a win-win.

5. Cost Effective & Easy

OPI platforms take just minutes for initial set up and are easily accessible through a phone, tablet, or computer.

You pay only for the minutes used, with no minimum fees, making it significantly more cost effective than in-person interpreting.

With OPI services, you’ll spend less money and less time scheduling interpreting services – all while improving your patients’ care with ample language support.

Offer OPI services and show LEP patients you care.

They’ll thank you for it.


Download our OPI tip sheet for more details about
over the phone interpreter services and  OPI best practices.

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Over the phone interpreting