Leslie Forrester, education specialist at Alton Memorial Hospital, leads a tutorial on the Video Remote Interpretive devices to her fellow employees.
ALTON — There is nothing more important than accurate communication in most facets of life. When it comes to health care decisions, communication becomes even more vital.
Alton Memorial Hospital has been using Video Remote Interpretive devices since May.
“Use of the VRI devices makes access to the most common interpretive services and languages used at Alton Memorial available in real time,” said Leslie Forrester, the hospital’s medical interpreter and translation services coordinator. “Previously, we had to plan in advance to have an interpreter on site or wait for one to arrive when an unplanned need arose, such as a patient arriving to the Emergency Department.”
Workforce members will identify the language and communication needs of a patient at the initial point of contact. The devices are available in 12 designated locations around the hospital. They are iPads, but can only be used for interpretive services. At the same time as VRI, Alton Memorial also started use of over-the-phone interpreting. OPI is used for many additional languages that are not available by video or after VRI hours.
“The iPads are secured in locked protective cases, which can also be cleaned when used in isolation rooms,” Forrester said. “The stands and iPads are on loan from the vendor, Stratus, as long as we are utilizing their video interpretation services.”
Medical interpretation and translation services are available when needed, free of charge to patients and family.
Medically related events that cause harm to limited English proficient patients occur twice as often as to English-speaking patients. That includes a greater risk of line infections, surgical infections, falls, and pressure ulcers (bed sores).