Today’s society is an increasingly global one. Populations of every nation are diversifying, and the United States is among the most diverse in the world. Among our citizens, over 350 different languages are spoken in American homes. Still, with such a monolingual attitude overall, it’s no wonder so many people face language barriers in this country.
One area where language barriers can be especially dangerous is in the medical field. Healthcare providers must be able to communicate properly with patients in order to provide the best possible care. Medical document translation is the key to keeping providers compliant with increasingly diverse language requirements, and keeping patients informed about their care.
Which Documents Need Translation?
The easy answer is all of them. While not every sign and signal needs to be made available in every language, it’s important that key elements be made accessible to as many of your patrons as possible. When it comes to detailed documents, a provider should have on hand a copy of every page that a patient or caregiver might need access to. This includes:
- Intake forms
- Discharge information
- Complaint and feedback forms
- Informed consent documents
- Notices of eligibility, patient rights and responsibilities
Making sure these documents are available to all consumers improves outcomes for both provider and patient.
Getting It All Translated
Medical document translation can be a daunting task, even if part of the healthcare provider’s staff is multilingual. Streamlining the process is important, and one way to do this is to consult a linguistics services provider. These industry professionals employ a multilingual staff, experienced in the areas of medicine, law and other fields that require detailed and technical translation. Letting them do the translation allows healthcare providers to focus on what’s most important: providing the care their patients need, no matter what language they speak.