Boost Patient Engagement with VRI

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

Post hospital and in between appointments, healthcare providers can boost patient engagement via video consult, an increasingly popular practice in telehealth programs today. For encounters with patients who do not speak English, healthcare providers can add a video interpreter to telehealth calls.

When patients are provided with the tools they need for success, they can collaborate effectively with healthcare professionals in their care decisions. A NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on patient engagement revealed patients who were engaged with their physicians and health care plans consistently reported higher levels of satisfaction with their care versus patients who were not engaged. As part of the study, researchers gathered insights on patient satisfaction and engagement from health care executives as well as clinician leaders throughout the U.S. When asked to define patient engagement, an overwhelming majority of participants included the following key elements:

  • Patients wish to actively make decisions with their providers about their health care.

  • Patients want to actively be involved in care plans both in and out of the hospital.

  • Patients wish to work towards improving their health.

The use of patient engagement tools has been shown to help patients achieve these goals, increasing patient adherence with care plans, e.g., medication management. Researchers have found when patients have an easy way to ask questions and communicate openly with their provider in a secure environment, they are more likely to disclose more information pertaining to their health and well-being. Additionally, when patients have a solid understanding of their healthcare plan, they tend to place more confidence in their healthcare provider, increasing the likelihood they will adhere to his or her recommendations.

One factor to keep in mind is that not all patients share the same level of healthcare literacy. Some have a limited understanding of healthcare terminology, medical conditions and/or healthcare programs. These individuals require additional clarification to ensure meaningful understanding takes place. Additionally, not all patients’ preferred language is English. In some areas of the United States, more than half of the metro population speaks a language other than English at home. U.S. Census data on LEP populations shows that in Los Angeles, for example, more than 54% of the population is LEP, and more than 185 unique languages are spoken.

Healthcare providers who encounter a large percentage of limited English proficient patients need a quick, efficient way to reach a medical interpreter. With Stratus Video’s VRI service, providers can access video interpreters in 35 languages and audio interpreters in more than 200 on demand with just a few presses of a button. This not only ensures language access when and where its needed in a wide variety of languages but also ensures healthcare facilities comply with federal regulations surrounding language access in healthcare, e.g. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

For patients who do not speak English, are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, providers can add a medical language interpreter to telehealth video calls with Stratus Link. In addition to improving communication for vital conversations, this boosts health equity – opening telehealth programs to more patients who need them.

When it comes to providing quality patient care, assembling a skilled medical team is crucial. When a video call is placed using Stratus Video, our interpreters become a part of the medical team. Learn more about Stratus Video interpreters, our qualifications and ongoing education requirements on our Interpreter Qualifications page.

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