47 million American citizens are unable to speak English or do not speak English as their primary language. This often produces communication problems in situations where clear communication is important, such as in healthcare and health related industries.
Though translation technology is far from being perfect, advanced translation tech is very useful in hospitals and pharmacies where live translation help isn’t always immediately available.
How Can Medical Translation Tech Impact Healthcare?
Healthcare can be positively impacted by translation technology in many ways, but there are a few very practical ways it can help improve healthcare and also help people communicate better with their doctors to prevent serious mishaps and misunderstandings.
Translation services through translation technology significantly reduce cost for hospitals and other medical centers. The money they save by using text-to-text and text-to-speech technology for translation between doctors, nurses, and patients can be spent on other medical equipment and services.
Translation technology can also reduce wait time for patients, as well. It’s not uncommon for people to have to wait up to twenty-five minutes on top of other wait times just to get a translator, unless the hospitals employs a full time translation staff. The wait time can be even longer for uncommon languages.
The languages that most United States hospitals have access to are likely to be either Spanish or Chinese. Chinese translation has been growing steadily more popular in the United States due to business relations with China. Finding a translator is what hospitals have an especially hard time with.
That’s why translation technology is becoming especially popular in hospitals where stacks of paperwork are filled out every hour. It’s still important for paperwork to be filled out correctly and accurately, or else fatal mistakes can be made.
Translation Tech Offers More Privacy
Hospitals aren’t just saving money and getting paperwork done faster by using translation technology though. The personal side of healthcare is also affected. By using a professional translator as a middleman, doctors are often in danger of getting lost in translation through small miscommunications and misinterpreted answers.
Patients can also be hesitant to talk about personal health information with people other than their doctor. This could force people to leave out crucial details to avoid embarrassment. Having a written translation of a patient’s records and health questionnaires can allow a doctor to see if the questions are really being understood or not.
Also, exams will take less time, and personal information stays only between the patient and physician.