In Ohio several hospitals are implementing video translation services. West Chester Hospital had used several iPads since late last year at the bedsides of their patients so they could access certified translators who speak more than 100 languages available from their translation services contractor. The iPads are mounted on wheeled stands that are around three feet high, according to interpretive services coordinator of the hospital, Rosemary Bake.
Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital and Fort Hamilton all plan to introduce the same type of translation service very soon. These hospitals have decided to improve their services to patients who are non-native English speakers, because of the increase in foreign-born patients. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 60.6 million people in 2011 aged 5 or older who speak another language at home.
Among the foreign languages, Spanish is the most common, according to Fort Hamilton Hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Marcus Romanello. The hospital employs a number of bilingual physicians. They also have a certified interpreter among their staff who work for 40 hours a week, said Dr. Romanello.
Currently, Fort Hamilton Hospital uses a third party phone translation service provider during weekends or off hours. They are soon to implement MARTTI (My Accessible Real Time Trusted Interpreter), an Internet-based video conference system that is already used in the Kettering Health Network’s other medical facilities. Dr. Romanello said that the system is capable of translating a large number of major languages.
Atrium Medical Center spokeswoman Sharon Howard said that their hospital in Middletown employs staff designated to handle language barriers. Likewise, they also have a contract with a language services program with volunteer language interpreters. Howard added that they also use the MARTTI system, which is capable of interpreting more than 400 languages.
Mercy Health’s Elsa Boyer, language access manager for the Ohio and Kentucky branches said that they have contracted with a language services provider that provides over-the-phone interpreting and also sends interpreters in person. In the Fairfield hospital, there are 70 phones that they use for translation services. The nurse and the patient each use a headset when they use the service. Boyer added that they are also working on adding video to their language services, which would be beneficial to their patients who are deaf. They are currently testing video interpreting to ensure that they will get clear pictures and strong connection before they launch it. About 75 percent of the translation needs at the Fairfield Hospital are for Spanish and in varying degrees, for Arabic, Russian, Nepali and French. Boyer added that they get about 200 on-site visits a month for interpreter service and receives 450 calls each month for translation services.