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Published on December 17, 2015 by Graham Newnum

CyraCom Interpreter Services Unified Pricing Advantages

As the leading provider of language services, Cyracom offers unified pricing – a single, per-minute price whether you’re using phone or video interpretation. We’re committed to giving our partners the freedom to use the interpretation method that best fits each individual and situation, ensuring that no provider has to choose between saving money and providing the best possible care.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics highlights the importance of this offering. Entitled Effect of Telephone vs Video Interpretation on Parent Comprehension, Communication, and Utilization in the Pediatric Emergency Department, the study concluded that video interpretation may be more effective at building understanding in medical scenarios involving children.

Researchers carried out the study in a large pediatric ER. Their aims were twofold:

First, the ER had a rule stating that an interpreter must always be used when treating a patient with limited-English proficiency. Would the type of remote interpretation available to hospital personnel impact staff adherence hospital rules?

Second, the study sought to gauge patient family comprehension. Would the method of interpretation used affect whether parents left the hospital understanding their child’s diagnosis?


The study’s methodology was straightforward: On any given day in the ER, hospital personnel were given access to either phone or video interpretation as a backup when staff in-person interpreters were unavailable. Over a 6 month period, researchers approached “290 Spanish-speaking parents of pediatric ED patients with limited English proficiency…of whom 249 enrolled [and] 208 completed the follow-up survey.” Parents were asked two questions: “Did your provider use a (phone/video) interpreter during your visit?”, and “Do you know your child’s diagnosis?”


Survey results showed an advantage for video Interpretation on both metrics tested. 93% of parents reported that their doctor used an interpreter on “video days”, compared to 79% of those who came in on a “phone day.” And “video” parents were 15% more likely (75% vs 60%) to correctly identify their child’s diagnosis when asked.

Granted, the scope of this study was fairly small, fewer than 300 participants in a single ER. And the idea that video interpretation is advantageous in pediatric encounters isn’t a new one – the added visual component is thought to better hold a child’s attention. Still, it’s interesting to see that the children’s parents may similarly pay better attention and comprehend more and that doctors may find video more valuable, as evidenced by their willingness to use it more frequently.

More research is likely needed to clarify and expand on these results. Still, given the demonstrated advantages of video interpretation in certain settings, hospitals should be empowered to use the modality that best fits each set of circumstances. Sometimes that’s video, and knowing it’s available for the same price as phone interpretation with CyraCom’s unified pricing helps take cost out of consideration, enabling providers to choose the most effective solution.


Click below to learn more about how quality language services may help boost hospital performance. 

Language Services Boost Hospital Performance Guide