VRI Interoperability with Mobile Communications Apps Boosts Language Access in Hospitals

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

The Importance of Good Communication in Healthcare

Good patient-provider communication is associated with improved patient satisfaction, patient adherence to care plans, management of chronic conditions and adoption of preventive health.

When patients are able to communicate effectively, they confide more in their provider and are more likely to follow through with care plans. Good communication among healthcare providers benefits patients as well, yielding a higher delivery of care and smoother transitions across the continuum of care. 

Mobile Communications Apps in Hospitals

In an effort to improve communication among providers and care teams, many hospitals are replacing conventional methods of communication, e.g., pagers, desktops and land lines, with HIPAA compliant mobile communications applications.

Mobile communications apps enable providers to collaborate with one another from remote locations, on a secure platform through video, phone and text. Some apps extend communication to patients as well. The fact that these apps can be utilized from provider smartphones greatly solidifies communication networks in hospitals.

Unanswered messages on landlines are replaced with direct HIPAA compliant text messaging that enables the transfer of images. Audio calls are replaced with face to face video calls, that enable the transfer of any nonverbal cues. Mobile communications apps provide every healthcare provider, with a smartphone in hand, a direct, HIPAA compliant way to instantly consult with another provider or patient at anytime from anywhere. But what happens when a patient has limited English proficiency (LEP)?

Language Services in Hospitals

When there is a language barrier impacting understanding by way of the patient or provider, both the delivery of care and patient perception of care suffer. Patients who do not speak English without access to a medical interpreter have been found to attend less follow-up visits, have a higher rate of readmission and poorer outcome than English speaking patients. This is why the provision of medical interpretation is essential to ensure that LEP patients, Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients have meaningful access to their healthcare information. It is both required by federal law and proven to be essential to prevent disparities in care.

Interoperability between VRI & Mobile Communications Apps

Ongoing, open communication among patients and providers has been shown to significantly improve patient engagement. With LEP patients, good communication can only take place with the assistance of a qualified interpreter.

In an effort to expand language access in hospitals, Stratus Video has developed an interoperability that enables healthcare providers to access our video remote interpretation solution directly from mobile communications apps. With just a few presses of a button, providers can add a spoken or sign language video interpreter to the conversation: an essential tool to expand language access and improve LEP patient engagement and care. Learn more about VRI interoperability and how it can be utilized to improve communications at your facility.

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