Video: The AHA Extends its Exclusive Endorsement of CyraCom’s Interpretation and Translation Solutions

The American Hospital Association has extended its exclusive endorsement of CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions. “While many providers offer telephonic, video interpretation and translation services, CyraCom interpreters and translators have a medical focus and are able to understand unique terminology and nuances relevant to a medical environment,” explains Anthony Burke, President and CEO of AHA Solutions, Inc. “The solution proved its continued relevance and value to the health care field by promoting safer, more effective practices through accurate provider-patient communication.”

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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.

Minority Doctors Needed? They’re on their Way

It’s a pressing concern: minority doctors are needed in healthcare.

According to the study Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare, issued by the Institute of Medicine, and more recent data, Hispanics, African-Americans, and other minority groups receive poorer healthcare quality than non-minorities.  And one of the proposed solutions for dealing with this problem is creating a workforce of multicultural physicians – the idea being that physicians of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds will be more culturally competent and give better care to minority patients.

There is some warrant to this concept, as minority physicians are more inclined to reach out to the communities they come from.  As Dr. Louis Sullivan, former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services,  explains: “‘…  African American physicians and Hispanic American physicians are three to five times more likely to establish their practices in African American or Hispanic American communities.”‘

Minority doctors, being a part of these communities, also understand the patients better, which ultimately results in better health services. “‘What happens with the health outcome, depends upon good communication, the trust and credibility between the health professional and the individual seeking care, and an understanding of the patient’s culture, value system, so that one can develop, hopefully, a strong relationship or interaction between the health professional and the individual,’” says Dr. Sullivan.

However, while the idea of using a multicultural workforce to improve health outcomes for minorities may be sound, its realization has not been so simple.

In one of her first speeches, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin discussed the fact that minority doctors represent 6% of all physicians – the same number as a century ago – and called for stepped-up recruitment efforts. And in giving his outlook on the future of physician diversity, Dr. Louis Sullivan said, “‘It will be decades before our health care system truly mirrors the makeup of our general population.’”

Nonetheless, while the future may look bleak, there is hope on the horizon.

A growing number of Hispanic students are enrolling in medical schools nationwide, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Since 2004, applications from Hispanics have risen 22.9%, with nearly 6% of that growth occurring in 2010-2011, as indicated by a recent Chicago Sun-Times article.

“‘For 30 or 40 years there have been intentional efforts at trying to make sure that all underrepresented populations understand that medicine is a wonderful career,”‘ said Dr. Marc Nivet, Chief Diversity Officer of AAMC. “‘I think we are starting to gain some traction in the Hispanic population.”‘

While the numbers are still not adequate enough to support the growing US Hispanic population, they do demonstrate an emerging trend: more and more Hispanics are becoming involved in medicine, which can ultimately translate into improving healthcare for minority communities.

However, it is only a small piece of the pie, and the process of reform is, likely, going to take some time.

Travis

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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.

Identifying the Deceased: Interpreting in Disaster Relief Situations

Yesterday, I conducted a special training exercise with CyraCom’s interpreters aimed at enhancing their ability to interpret in the long consecutive mode effectively. The exercise was based on the protocols and procedures used to properly identify deceased individuals in disaster relief situations.

Photo: Interpreter training session - How to Identify the Deceased in Disaster Relief Situations.

The experience was very educational — it gave the interpreters an opportunity to improve their ability to interpret complex physical and anatomical descriptions while increasing their understanding of emergency response procedure. The session also took the students out of the classroom and provided the CyraCom training staff with more experience conducting this type of live, simulation-based training. Equally important was the fact that we all had the opportunity to discuss death and dying within a cultural context — an important conversation for any interpreter who might find themselves communicating across cultures on this very sensitive subject. In all, I was reminded that interpreting is dynamic: and the more practice we can provide, and the closer this practice can be to reality, the better prepared our interpreters will be.

Now it’s back to the drawing-board, which is my favorite part of the process, with new lessons to conceptualize, materials to develop, feedback to solicit, and data to gather.

Good stuff.

Jonathan

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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.

Working Together to Develop Medical Interpreter Qualification Standards: CyraCom and the NCIHC

With the interpreting profession expected to grow much faster than the national employment average, having standards in place for medical interpreter training programs is of the utmost importance.

Recently, my colleague Jonathan Levy and I were able to assist the NCIHC in developing its National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs. Since CyraCom uses a rigorous approach to interpreter training, which includes 120 hours of healthcare-focused interpreter training, our program and nine others were selected by the NCIHC as guides to inform the standards.

Now, because of these efforts, standards are in place to promote medical interpreter qualification. And better trained interpreters means decreased patient risk.

We are proud to have been a part of it.

Stephen

*To learn more, watch this webinar I participated in with Julie Burns from the NCIHC. We discuss the standards and give more information about CyraCom’s rigorous training program.

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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.

Federal Language Regulations for Health Plans

Effective January 1, 2012, federal regulations require that health plans provide non- English language support. This includes:

  • Providing on-demand, oral language support (ex: telephonic interpretation)
  • Displaying linguistically and culturally appropriate written notices on how to access language services
  • Giving claimant notification of urgent-care decisions within 24 hours
We recently hosted a webinar discussing these federal regulations. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a health plan accreditor, also discussed their Multicultural Healthcare Distinction program and looked at examples of how health plans can provide and implement language services effectively.
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Speakers:
Vice President for Product Development, NCQA
Tricia Marine Barret joined the NCQA in 2008 as the Vice President for Product Development. In this role, she is responsible for exploring new product concepts and evolving existing products to meet the needs of a changing healthcare environment.
Director of Language Services for CyraCom
Mr. Levy is CyraCom International’s subject matter expert on the translation and interpretation industry with over 10 years of experience in language services. He is the former Assistant Director of the University of Arizona’s National Center for Interpretation.
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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.

Some Hospitals Lagging in Interpretation Services

Imagine you’re on vacation somewhere, fall ill, and are taken to a local hospital. You only speak English; the hospital staff doesn’t speak any.

According to a recent article, some hospitals are lagging behind in interpretation services, and patients are paying the price; a Spanish-speaking patient was given medical consultation without interpretation services, despite not being able to speak English. The patient ultimately left the examining room with a pile of paperwork and had no idea she needed an MRI.

Examples such as this are illustrative of why some hospitals need a competent language services provider. It’s not only about making patients comfortable – it’s ultimately about patient safety.

Patricia

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CyraCom’s interpretation and translation solutions are exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association. With ISO 9001:2008 certified quality processes, US-based medically-trained interpreters, and a dedicated account management team, we are equipped to meet your patients’ language needs.