YNHH invests in new interpreter phone system

Three members of YNHH Interpreter Services Department are now located on the Saint Raphael
Campus full-time. Shown with one of the new dual headset phones are (l-r): Rose Abreu-Sanchez,
medical interpreter, and translation coordinators Jose Rivera-Vinas and Isabel Pachiarotti.
Three members of YNHH Interpreter Services Department are now located on the Saint Raphael Campus full-time. Shown with one of the new dual headset phones are (l-r): Rose Abreu-Sanchez, medical interpreter, and translation coordinators Jose Rivera-Vinas and Isabel Pachiarotti.

Solutions that will supplement the current services provided by in-person spoken language interpreters. Hundreds of automated dual-headset green phones have already been distributed to patient care areas on the Saint Raphael Campus and began to be distributed on the York Street Campus this week.

A staff member simply picks up the phone and presses a button to access an over-the-phone medical interpreter for a language other than English. The caller must provide the patient's name and medical record number. The dual-headset telephone provides a degree of privacy that speaker phones do not.

On the SRC, the new system replaces the blue Cyracom phones. On the York Street Campus, the new system increases efficiency for non-clinical conversations by eliminating the step of calling Interpreter Services to be connected to an interpreter. Now providers who want to secure an over-the-phone interpreter for communication with a patient will call Language Line Solutions directly, rather than first calling Interpreter Services.

For those cases where it is preferable to use an interpreter rather than the overthe- phone service, employees should call Interpreter Services for patient conversations that involve explaining complex medical procedures, obtaining consent, family meetings and end-of-life discussions.

"Patients and family members who speak languages other than English have the right to free, professional medical interpretation," said Jeannette Hodge, director of Patient Relations, Volunteer and Guest Services. "Staff should not rely on family members or other employees to interpret for patients. They should call Interpreter Services to secure an unbiased medical interpreter."

Interpreter Services offers written translation of discharge instructions into Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French and Mandarin. Other documents are translated upon request. Vital documents can be found at http://translation.ynhh.org. For questions about document translation, employees should call 688-7523. In addition, the hospital provides special equipment and services for patient and families who are deaf or hard of hearing, including American Sign Language interpretation and oral translation, as well as videophones, TTYs (a teleprinter for text communication over the telephone network) and assistive listening devices. Employees who need assistance with deaf or hard-of-hearing patients should contact Interpreter Services. Patients who want to contact the hospital's deaf and hard-of-hearing services coordinator may call 203-909-6772 or email deaf/hh@ynhh.org.