Wellstar's interpreting team partners with clinicians to ensure that culturally and linguistically diverse patients, including those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, have access to communication and information in all aspects of their healthcare.
Effective communication, which includes verbal, nonverbal and written, is an essential component of quality care, successful treatment plans and patient safety. Communication errors can have negative and even life-threatening consequences. We integrate literacy, culture and language access to improve healthcare quality for diverse populations.
Technology Benefits Effective Communication
In addition to staff interpreters, Wellstar has partnered with Martti to provide remote interpreting services both on video and telephone. Martti offers many benefits, including access to 250 languages, an average of 30 seconds to connect with an interpreter, and top-of-the-line equipment in hospitals and outpatient practices, with user-friendly technology. Wellstar is also making network upgrades to optimize the connection on calls with interpreters, which will be especially beneficial for deaf or hard-of-hearing patients who use video calls to communicate with their interpreters.
Wellstar Provides Communication Assistance
Our team is comprised of professional interpreters and experienced translators. Wellstar is the only health system in the state that has nationally certified American Sign Language interpreters on staff. An interpreter must understand cultural nuances, be proficient in at least two languages and follow professional interpreting ethics and best practices.
Being bilingual alone does not qualify someone to be a professional interpreter. At Wellstar, for a bilingual team member to interpret in their department, they must complete medical interpreter training and pass the same proficiency assessment we require of our full-time interpreters. Like interpreters, the translator's skills are assessed for written language proficiency. Proof of competency for our team includes training in the following areas:
- Medical terminology, specialties, anatomy and physiology, medical conditions, pathology, symptoms and treatment, medical tests and diagnostic procedures, medical abbreviations and acronyms
- The use of advocacy to enhance communication
- Multiculturalism and diversity
- Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics & Standards of Professional Practice
- Spoken and written fluency in both source and target languages
- Message interpretation accuracy, cohesion and clarity
Communication Assistance at Wellstar
If you are within the Wellstar Health System, your care team can assist in finding an interpreter for you. If you are in the community or at home, you can call Wellstar’s Direct Access to an Interpreter line at (470) 944-7300. This line is staffed by interpreters, in multiple languages, who can assist patients to communicate with their provider’s office or the appropriate Wellstar department. You simply provide the interpreter with the Wellstar phone number you would like to reach.
For more information or questions about these or other language access services, please contact [email protected].