On a recent visit to my doctor’s office, I observed something that I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past: When a nurse called the next patient back for her appointment, a young girl also stood up and explained that her mother didn’t speak English well and asked to accompany her to interpret.
I live right outside of Washington, D.C., which is fortunately a culturally diverse area so I am used to hearing different languages on a day-to-day basis. I guess I never really considered the impact of not speaking English when it comes to seeking medical care. Luckily, the example above, seemed like a routine office visit, but it got me thinking about what would happen in an emergency situation where seconds count.
Paras and Associates know this scenario all too well as they provide real-time language interpreters for healthcare environments using video collaboration. PAA’s service ensures that patients anywhere in the country, who speak any language, can gain access to high quality medical interpretation in an instant. Video communications has played a significant role in their practice and has significantly reduced “lost in translation” errors by allowing doctor, patient and interpreter to see each other’s faces. The power of video overcomes language barriers that can often be misinterpreted over the phone … and herein lies my passion.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Melinda Paras, PAA’s president and CEO. Melinda is a veteran of the medical industry and saw a need to deliver a better “business outcome” to patients and medical staff. In this case, the business outcome could mean the difference between life and death.
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