The Importance of Translation Services in the Medical Office
You might be surprised to learn that medical offices need translation services. With the ever-growing melting pot of America, it’s becoming more and more likely that a patient walking into your office does not speak English as their first language. A 2019 study by the Migration Policy Institute found that approximately one in seven people in the United States are foreign-born, and about one in four children has at least one foreign-born parent. The study also found that approximately 47 million people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. Interestingly, 28 million of those individuals report speaking English “very well,” but 19 million do not. This is where medical office translation services come into play to help close the gap between patients who don’t speak English and medical staff who only speak English.What is Medical Office Translation?Medical office translation is the process of translating written materials—such as forms, discharge instructions, and educational pamphlets—from English into another language so that they can be easily understood by non-English speakers. It is important to note that medical office translation is different than interpreting, which is the process of translating spoken words from one language to another in real time. That said, some companies offer both medical office translation services and interpretation services. And while interpretation generally requires certification, anyone with a good grasp of both English and other languages can provide translation services. Why do Medical Offices Need Translation Services?When patients come into a medical office and staff members are unable to communicate with them due to a language barrier, it can lead to misunderstandings and poor decision-making—both of which can put patient safety at risk. What’s more, if a patient does not understand what their diagnosis is or what their treatment entails, they are less likely to comply with their doctor’s orders—which can also jeopardize their health. In other words, being able to communicate effectively with patients is crucial to providing quality care. In today’s increasingly diverse world, it’s more important than ever for medical offices to have access to translation services. By having written materials—such as forms, discharge instructions, and educational pamphlets—translated into other languages, medical staff can ensure that all patients understand what is being communicated to them regardless of whether or not they speak English. This helps create a safer environment for everyone involved and allows doctors to provide the best possible care to their patients.