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Language Services Available to Healthcare Providers

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

More and more non-English speakers reside in the United States than ever before and this trend is on the rise. According to the latest census in 2011, more than 60 million residents in the US speak a language at home that’s not English.  There is pressure on the states from the Federal government to provide the same level of care to those who have limited English ability when compared to full English speakers. The 1964 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits any discrimination based on color, race or national origin.

The Affordable Care Act expressly states that healthcare institutions are required to provide both a written translation service and oral interpreting service, for those who have limited competence in English. Healthcare establishments are threatened with losing out on Federal funding if they fail to provide sufficient care.

What can a healthcare establishment do when confronted with a person who has little or no English ability?

The first choice is the use of In-Person Interpreting by booking up a professional interpreter through an agency to attend a patient’s appointment. This is far better than using a member of staff who typically says they are bilingual but has had no professional experience interpreting, particularly in a medical context.  A certified medical interpreter is trained to understand medical terminology and knows how to keep an appointment running smoothly.

If an emergency situation develops and it’s impossible to get an interpreter immediately, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is now becoming a possible effective solution. VRI can be used via a device like a tablet or a laptop. A video call is made to a professional interpreter in the required language and a time fixed for the interpreting using a method similar to Skype.  The VRI is a 24/7 service which makes it suitable for emergency situations where there is little or no time to arrange an appointment with the usual professional interpreter.

Telephone Interpreting is another option and requires placing a call to what is called an over-the-phone interpreter service. An access number is provided offering the services of interpreters between 100 and 200 languages which can be accessed very quickly.  Some interpreters use a speakerphone throughout the duration of an appointment while in the presence of the medical professional and the patient.  This tends to work well when it comes to providing more basic information in a short time frame but in longer more detailed appointments this method is not considered quite personal enough.

Medical document translation services

There is also a need to translate documents, whether they are health information signs, discharge instructions, or informational booklets. For this, a professional translation service can do a good job, as long as it has long-standing experience handling medical translations.

Medical Translation Services

No Room for Unreliable Medical Translation Services

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

Medical knowledge, like medical science, is universal. It doesn’t belong to a single individual or nation, even if much of the work that has lead to anyone medical breakthrough is the work of a research organization, or research team, based in one particular country.

Medical knowledge is often an international team effort. New medicines and innovative techniques and technology are often enthusiastically shared so that breakthroughs can be tested rigorously across national boundaries. Some medical breakthroughs are in fact intended to be used far away from the place or places where research is being carried out. Think of the zika virus, for instance, or ebola. Both are of tropical origin, on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Both viruses are serious and in the case of ebola, potentially fatal. Both viruses can spread beyond their original origins and mutate and become more virulent as they are allowed to expand their influence.

Expert medical translators are an integral feature of medical research and medical application. Without effective medical translation services, people across the globe would be unable to share common medical goals.

It’s not just the research phase of medical knowledge where medical translators are valuable. Once a drug, instrument or technique has been perfected, it will be marketed and used in dozens of different health systems, both in the government sector and the various private health systems around the world. Drug doses, instrument manuals and information on best practice surgery must be translated as accurately as possible to avoid medical errors and potential fallout in the number of derailed or delayed treatments that are carried out worldwide every single day.

Expert medical translators often have feet firmly planted in the medical sector and usually have an excellent background in medical terminology and techniques. It is better for anyone in the medical and health sectors who are thinking of sharing or selling their medical information or treatment types overseas to use professional medical translation services rather than going for the cheapest translators, who may not have the ability to translate potentially life-changing the medical translation.

Outsourcing Clinical Trials

Challenges in Medical Translation for Outsourcing Clinical Trials

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

Before a drug is released for public use it has to undergo thorough trials some of which take more than 10 years to complete and can cost at least a million dollars. Not all clinical trials necessarily take place where the drug is produced and these days many take place in Asian countries where the monitoring process and reporting will take place in a language other than English. Translating Clinical Trial papers can only be successful if the medical translators understand the likely pitfalls if the medical translation is not taken seriously.
Breakdown of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials follow 5 distinct phases which are:

● Commencement of drug testing on non-humans to test toxicity and pharmacokinetic information.

● Testing the drug on healthy volunteers in order to calculate dosage requirements. This could also be cancer victims if the drug is an anti-cancer drug.

● Testing the drug on patients who have certain medical conditions to test for potential side-effects.

● Testing the drug on patients with certain medical conditions and assess dosage level.

Post-marketing monitoring in force to double check the effect of specified dosages on real patients.
Medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies have been outsourcing clinical trials to Contract Research Organizations (CROs) for a number of years. A spokesperson for OutsourcingPharma.com reported that in 2014 the world CRO market had a value in excess of $27 billion and this is expected to increase at 6 percent per year over the coming years. North America has the lion’s the share of the CRO market with Europe following, while the Asia-Pacific is becoming the fastest growing area for CRO activity.

When outsourcing clinical trials, there are many medical translation challenges. This is because it is necessary to adhere to regulatory requirements, approval procedures, and medical conduct where the CROs operate. Medical translation of this nature requires far higher attention to detail than other kinds of translation, as a poor translation could put people’s lives and health at risk. To put it quite simply, when clinical trials are outsourced to countries where those involved don’t speak the language of the CRO, attention to a medical translation is far more important.

When medical translations are provided for clinical trials, the medical translators involved must consider carefully the target audience whether it’s medical personnel or a layperson. For example, medical terms such as “hypotension”, “tinnitus” and “myalgia” when defined for the layperson in mind would be “low blood pressure”, “ringing in the ears” and “muscle ache”.

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