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Helping Patients From Around the Globe with Advanced Interpretation

Posted on January 12, 2018

We accept all patients regardless of their ability to speak English.

Communication is crucially important in healthcare to ensure each patient receives proper care and treatment. The staff at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System (MHHS) strives to make each interaction with patients clear, concise, informative and inviting.

Thanks to a recent donation from the hospital’s Volunteer Auxiliary, MHHS is now more equipped than ever to help the needs of patients with limited English proficiency. Utilizing a new state-of-the-art Stratus interpretation technology, patients and family from around the globe can receive excellent care without having to worry about language barriers.

This technology is now located throughout the hospital to provide interpretation services to those in need. Within seconds, a video connection with a certified interpreter is available to aid with communication to and from the patient, similar to Apple’s FaceTime technology. With over 200 languages, patients and their family can easily communicate their needs in all areas of the hospital.

The technology can also assist deaf patients by offering American Sign Language video interpretation. Other languages accompanied by video interpretation include Spanish, French, Russian, Mandarin, Korean, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

Diana McGaha, education coordinator for MHHS, said the “Stratus systems are transportable and easy to use.”

“Being able to speak in their primary language is important to provide safe and effective care. Stratus is like having a team of live interpreters from all over the world available when the patients walk through our doors,” McGaha said. “This also helps our doctors and nurses receive an accurate medical history and offer clear communication back to the patient regarding their plan of care.”

This technology helps communicate important information such as pain levels, medication orders, diagnosis, education and treatment plans. An interactive feature of the system allows the interpreter to write on the screen to the patient in their primary language, further clarifying any complicated information.

Nurse Manager Lisa Kelley said “the new software has been well received by patients and hospital staff.”

“My nurses have been able to use this technology to communicate with families from countries such as Laos, Korea, Nigeria and Nepal,” Kelley said. “It puts everyone at ease knowing we have such a reliable, easy to use system for interpretation.”

Kelley said “patients enjoy being able to see the interpreter assisting them rather than a computerized interpretation service or telephone. This helps keep the interaction conversational and helps reduce the stress of a hospital stay.”

In addition to the Stratus technology, MHHS also has a full-time Spanish interpreter on site to provide in-person assistance to those in need.

“These interpretation services help our hospital open its doors to the entire community and beyond,” Gordon Lintz, CAO and President of MHHS, said. “We strive to put our patients first in everything that we do, and these services help us achieve that goal through excellent communication in hundreds of languages.”

To learn more about this service click here.