When it comes to offering high-quality patient care, providing clear discharge instructions is vital. The discharge instructions give the patient critical guidance about the steps they need to take when leaving the facility.
Since not all patients are proficient in English, translating discharge instructions is a must. Otherwise, they may struggle to understand the steps they need to take, compromising their health.
If you’re like to learn more about why translating discharge instructions is vital and how you can get quality translations quickly, here’s what you need to know.
Why Translating Discharge Instructions Is Vital
When patients prepare to leave a healthcare facility after a procedure, they’re typically given discharge instructions that outline their post-procedure care needs. The document outlines the steps they need to take, ensuring they follow a predetermined regimen to achieve the desired medical result.
If you aren’t translating your discharge instructions, non-English proficient patients may not fully understand what they need to do. Ultimately, this leads to compromised after-care.
Depending on how the instructions are misinterpreted, the outcome could be serious, leading to the need for more extensive medical care to correct a typically avoidable issue. In the worst-case scenario, trouble with understanding discharge instructions could be fatal.
Besides hurting the patient, failing to translate discharge instructions could put the healthcare facility at risk. A patient or someone related to them might pursue legal action if the lack of appropriately translated documents caused the patient harm. This situation could damage the facility’s reputation and lead to significant legal and financial penalties.
How to Translate Discharge Instructions
When it comes to translating discharge instructions, healthcare providers may assume that either having a translator on-staff or using a machine translation service like Google Translate are the only viable options. However, that isn’t necessarily the case.
If you have a translator on-staff, you get expertise that you can tap at any time. This is incredibly convenient, giving you a pathway to accurately translate discharge instructions whenever the need arises. However, one translator typically can’t cover all of the languages you need. As a result, the on-staff approach can quickly become impractical, especially for smaller healthcare providers.
When it comes to services like Google Translate, accuracy can be a concern. Even if the bulk of the translation is reasonably accurate, inaccuracies often arise.
While not all inaccuracies would cause a patient harm, one study showed that potentially serious errors that could hinder patient care do occur. During the study, possibly harmful errors occurred 2 percent of the time with Spanish translations and 8 percent of the time with Chinese. While those percentages are relatively small, even one mistake should be viewed as unacceptable when it puts a patient in jeopardy.
Luckily, there is a better option. By connecting with an efficient medical translation service, you can quickly get discharge instructions in nearly any language. In many cases, by making proper arrangements with the language services provider, you can receive personalized discharge instruction translations that speak to the patient’s exact situation. You can include details like dosage information or other insights that often vary from one patient to the next, resulting in a higher quality patient experience.
Along with individual document translations, you can have a list of common instructions translated in advance. This allows you to use the document as a reference when creating new patient discharge instructions when personalized instructions aren’t necessary, such as situations where post-procedure care is universal.
Finding the Right Medical Translation Service
Having a language services provider that you can trust is essential when you need medical documents translated. That way, you know that the information you’re providing patients is accurate and complete, ensuring they have all of the details they need to continue with their care after leaving the facility.
If you need the services of a reliable medical translator, Acutrans is here. At Acutrans, our team provides dependable and accurate medical records translations quickly and efficiently. Not only are our medical translators highly trained and HIPAA-compliant, but the team is also mainly comprised of individuals with doctorate degrees, giving them a higher degree of understanding of medical terminology and other key areas to ensure accuracy.
Additionally, if you require a skilled interpreter for a medical appointment, Acutrans can provide you with support. Acutrans offers medical interpretation services – including in-person, video remote, and over the phone – in 200 languages.
If you are in need of a medical-oriented language services provider, the Acutrans team can provide a fast and professional solution. Contact us for a free quote today.