Heart patients in Plano facing language barriers can now speak face-to-face with interpreters via large screen TVs and portable tablets at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano.
The hospital is piloting the newest version of a video remote interpreting service that puts language at the touch of its fingertips. Hospitals throughout the the Baylor Healthcare System have been using the video remote interpreting service, or VRI, but only through a built-in laptop camera.
The real-time video technology provides interpreters for nearly two-dozen languages and has proven effective for many non-English speaking patients and staff since February, said Nayan Patel, Information Services Director for The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano.
In addition, approximately 180 languages are available at the hospital via audio-only remote services. Both services are available at Baylor Heart Hospital Plano’s cardiovascular care clinics as well.
The service has been exceptionally beneficial for the hearing-impaired, as American Sign Language is one of the most sought after interpretations at the hospital to-date, Patel said.
“It allows that communication to become clearer between the caregiver and the patient, and it can connect an interpreter through the caregiver to the patient in seconds,” Patel said. “In the past [this] would take a little bit longer, and if [the patient] wanted a live interpreter they would have to wait up to two hours in some cases.”
The biggest benefit of the VRI is the increased speed of care it allows for nurses and physicians, Patel said.
“[The patient] feels like they now have this third device in front of them that allows them to [engage] in a smooth conversation. Time is usually of essence [for us],” he said. “If something is critically happening, you want to be able to communicate that information as quickly as possible because every second does matter.”