Telemedicine is Creating a Higher Demand for Certified Medical Interpreters


Certified medical interpretation services are perhaps a little known specialty in the healthcare industry, but no less a critical need when it comes to someone’s health. On today’s episode of the Healthcare Podcast, host Shelby Skrhak sat down with David Fetterolf, president of Stratus Video, the largest and fastest growing video remote interpreting company in the world, one that provides video remote interpretation and over-the-phone interpretation services.

In the past, medical translation or interpretation provided native language services to non-English-speaking patients in-person or by phone, but video communication has made video remote interpretation a key solution for hospitals and care facilities that must ensure non-English speaking patients fully understand what a health care team is communicating to them.

These translators are not simply bilingual individuals, but certified interpreters who understand the medical terminology a doctor or healthcare team is using.

“This is an important point because being a bilingual person does not qualify you to be a medical interpreter,” Fetterolf said, explaining that laws under the Affordable Care Act state healthcare providers must use competent or qualified medical interpreters, rather than simply a bilingual doctor, staff member, or family member. “A person who speaks maybe Arabic and English may not know the medical terms that are critical for clear communication.”

Fetterolf said studies point to the use of certified medical interpreters as improving patient care in a facility and after a patient is discharged, which ultimately may help prevent future medical issues.

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