How EMS’ use Emergency Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) to Save Lives

emergency video remote interpretation

How EMS’ use Emergency Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) to Save Lives

The Importance of Communication

Communication between a doctor and their patient is the key to effective diagnosis and subsequent treatment of problems faced by the patient. This becomes very difficult if the patient has limited proficiency in the native language of their doctor, speaks a different language altogether, or if the patient cannot speak or hear at all. Problems such as these are aggravated when the patient does not have another person to assist them in communicating with their doctors. This is where Emergency Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) comes in.


Advantages of Video Remote Interpretation

VRI is a video communication technology that allows two different parties who do not speak the same language to communicate effectively with each other. In a typical VRI situation, one party video calls an interpreter based in a remote location and speaks to them. The interpreter listens carefully and relays the message to the other party in a language they can understand. This breaks down the communication barrier that exists between a doctor and their patient and allows them to converse freely.

The use of video for interpretation services enables the communication between a doctor and deaf or mute patients who know American Sign Language (ASL). An interpreter that knows ASL can hear the doctor speaking and sign the message to the patient. He can then see the patient signing their message through the camera and relay the message out loud to the doctor.

VRI requires only one piece of hardware – a smartphone with an internet connection. Since almost everyone carries one of these everywhere in their pockets, VRI can provide interpretation services in any situation and at any time. The ability of VRI to quickly break down communication barriers, the simplicity of use, and the convenience provided by VRI make it an ideal tool for emergency services to employ in daily use.


Applications in Which Emergency Video Remote Interpretation is Saving Lives


Emergency Departments in Hospitals

An important setting in which we often deploy VRI is the Emergency Room (ER) of a hospital. If a deaf, mute, or non-native speaker comes to the ER, they will not be able to get proper treatment if they cannot communicate with the hospital staff and doctors. In emergency situations, when time is of the essence, the availability of emergency video remote interpretation can often be the determining factor between life and death.

Often, such a person that cannot communicate properly with the doctors or staff will come into the ER alone. This requires the presence of an interpreter on-site or the ready availability of a remote video interpreter.

Even if they enter with a spouse, child, another family member, or friend, the hospital cannot always rely on these people for translation purposes. This is because medical terms are extremely complicated and require a professional to explain them precisely and in detail. Many certified interpreters that work in healthcare undergo extensive training that gives them the knowledge and experience to do this effectively.

Hiring full-time interpreters trained in the medical field for all the non-native or disabled patients that the hospital may encounter is not feasible for many reasons. To cover every possible language that the different patients may happen to speak, the hospital will have to employ a whole fleet of interpreters. Hospitals usually lack the space and resources to do so. The limited availability of such certified medical interpreters further aggravates this issue.

VRI, on the other hand, provides an elegant solution to this problem. It combines the usability of an on-site interpreter with the versatility of over-the-phone interpreters. It does this without taking up too much of the hospital’s space and resources.


Emergency Response Services

Apart from the ER, another critical situation where VRI has proved its mettle is in the emergency response service field. In serious scenarios such as house fires or cases of domestic violence, VRI can be an invaluable tool for emergency response services to understand the situation quickly and thus take the appropriate action.

For example, firefighters might ask a person if the fire is electrical or fueled by a hydrocarbon to decide how to proceed in extinguishing it. Alternatively, in the case of domestic violence, the police might ask a woman who managed to escape her abusive household, if there are any kids or someone else still inside the house with her abusive husband.

If there is a communication barrier between the emergency response services and civilians, the emergency response team will end up wasting precious time trying to establish what has happened. In such dire circumstances where every second counts, this can prove to be the difference between a successful rescue operation and one that fails horribly.

In such instances, VRI deployment is an ideal solution. Before arriving on the scene, the response team is not often aware of the language spoken by the people on-site. As such, they cannot know which interpreter to call before reaching the scene. Additionally, the interpreter will not be able to reach the site as quickly, which will further waste time. VRI eliminates these problems altogether. The emergency response team can simply call up an interpretation service and talk to a certified interpreter in a matter of seconds.


Where Can You Find Emergency Video Remote Interpretation Services?

If you are looking for a competent video remote interpretation service, choose Acutrans.

Acutrans has been in the business of offering professional translation and interpretation services for over 20 years. All this time, we have been building an extensive team of experienced linguists devoted to serving our clients and providing them with the utmost quality in interpretation services.

We have over 2,000 people certified in a vast array of fields, including the finance, legal, life sciences, health care, government, entertainment, marketing, and manufacturing industries, among many others. These professionals are ready to offer you translations in over 200 different languages spoken around the world. Every day, we handle over 40,000 in-person video calls with our clients. All of these calls are completely confidential and HIPAA compliant.

Choose Acutrans as your interpretation service to remove any communication barriers at your workplace and ensure the smooth flow of information in your organization.


 Get a free quote for emergency VRI services for your emergency services team from Acutrans.