Imagine the fright in coming down with symptoms of coronavirus: fever, cough, tiredness and trouble breathing. Then imagine trying to navigate the health care system with limited English skills, especially when loved ones are barred from medical settings to limit the virus spread.
We’re hearing about the risks facing front line workers including doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and service workers, yet there are also disturbing reports that medical interpreters are not being afforded personal protective equipment and protocols, and of patients experiencing sub-standard, potentially life-threatening barriers to services.
“High quality medical interpretation allows healthcare service providers to effectively communicate and comply with language access laws,” says Silvia Villacampa, Managing Director of Liberty Language Services in Vienna, Virginia.
“Because in-person interpreters risk exposure like all health care workers, video remote and over-the-phone interpreting are excellent ways to reduce risk while providing much needed support to service providers serving limited English-speaking patients in our community,” Villacampa adds.
25 million people in the U.S. speak no or limited English, and the COVID-19 epidemic has intensified longstanding language access issues in health care. Video remote technology, which can be used with any phone, tablet or computer with a webcam, offers the safest solution.
“It’s HIPAA compliant, and our trained and qualified interpreters work in hundreds of languages, as well as American Sign Language,” Villacampa notes.
With years of experience providing on-site medical and legal interpretation services throughout the mid-Atlantic region, Liberty Language Services applies the same careful vetting, training, testing and understanding clients’ needs to Video Remote and Over the Phone Interpreting.
Visit the Liberty Language Services website for more information.