There is no single language spoken in the United States, as the country is a melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds. In 2015, the Census reported an approximate 350 languages spoken in homes throughout America, which can make dire situations even more complex in the medical setting.1 Anyone can end up in a medical situation, where communication is especially important, and research is showing that there is a serious language disconnect between American physicians and patients.2

But, translating healthcare documents isn’t as simple as typing your passage into a free online translator. Because there are complex topics discussed within medical paperwork and forms, someone with understanding needs to translate them. This ensures that the message is translated properly and greatly lowers the likelihood of misunderstanding and medical error. In fact, healthcare translators are critical team members in the entire patient experience.  

Providers looking to improve patient satisfaction and safety should seriously consider hiring a professional translation service purely for their expertise alone. These services can help connect healthcare professionals with a more diverse group of patients, improving communication within the entire community. Experts in medical language can help providers translate a wide spectrum of different documents, and we’re going to discuss six of them today.

1. Medical Records and Patient Forms

Translating medical records is beneficial for both patient and provider. Not only does it grant patients significantly more understanding and control over their medical records and history, but it also allows them more freedom when choosing a new care provider. Translating these documents into a patient’s native language also eliminates the need for an on-site interpreter to assist with filling out the paperwork. Medical providers need to utilize professional translation services, as even the slightest error in translation can lead to a very dangerous situation.

2. Brochures and Pamphlets

Every person, no matter what language they speak, will have to visit a healthcare professional at some point in their lives. This is why medical professionals must work to be as inclusive and diverse as possible, to allow those who speak other languages to feel invited and acknowledged. One of the best ways to ensure this is the case is by translating patient brochures and pamphlets. Translating office literature also opens your practice to a much broader patient demographic.

3. Employee Manuals

The employee handbook and manuals are an introduction to your organization and its culture. To ensure that you are appealing to a multilingual workforce that keeps everyone safe and on the same page, you should have your manual translated professionally. Translating the employee handbook can also boost your organization’s reputation, and significantly improve productivity.

4. Scientific Journal Articles

While many healthcare professionals are involved in medical research and innovation, very few pay attention to the importance of translating said research. Translating scientific research and scholarly journals is less about patient care and more about making your information available to a wider audience. Those who have their scientific journals translated into languages besides English are more likely to have their work recognized by other professionals. 

5. Consent Authorization Forms

Proper consent can never be given from a patient who doesn’t understand what they’re allowing. Consent authorization forms are some of the most important translated documents to carry at your practice because treatment can’t be administered without them. Properly informing patients of the procedure and its risks before obtaining consent is crucial to running a practice with high standards and reputation.

6. Healthcare Website

Translating your healthcare website is a critical component of running a reputable and trustworthy medical practice. Not only are there laws surrounding the translation of healthcare websites, but doing this can greatly improve your patient experience. Translating your website can help patients identify providers who meet their needs, fill out forms online, and even improve safety outcomes. 

The GlobalSpeak Process

At GlobalSpeak Translations, we recognize the importance of a quality and accurate medical translation, which is why we have established an easy and efficient way for healthcare providers to connect with those around them. Our translation process has been specially designed to generate the best results with the highest accuracy and was created after years of experimentation and experience. The GlobalSpeak process consists of six simple steps, which include:

  1. Quote: This is where you provide information about the source language, the documents you want to be translated, and any other information relevant to your project. Our qualified team will then provide you with a fair and affordable quote. 2.
  2. Proposal: The proposal, which will contain your quote and the details of the translation project, will be sent to you for review. 
  3. Document Review: Once details of the project, like the budget and timeline, are solidified, your certified medical translator will begin looking through your documents and preparing them for the translation. This step is crucial to ensuring accurate translations.
  4. Healthcare Translation: This is where the magic happens. Your documents will be translated with high accuracy and careful attention to detail. Document context, target language, and specialized medical terminology will all be recognized during the process.  
  5. Revisions: A healthcare translation supervisor will then review the translation and make necessary revisions and changes. The documents will then be submitted to you for approval.
  6. Delivery: The project manager working with you and your practice will then ensure that you are satisfied with the final result. 

Final Thoughts

Translating medical documents simply isn’t an option in today’s diverse and multilingual population. Practices throughout the country are making the decision to have their documents professionally translated, and seeing significant advantages in doing so. Put simply, medical translation is a requirement; the only choice you have is in who you hire. Opting for a professional translation service with medical background and understanding, like GlobalSpeak, ensures a high-quality, error-free translation every single time.  

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