Your Healthy Family

Apr 24, 2013 9:34 AM by Marissa Torres

Communication easier for deaf patients

Communication between a physician and their patient is essential. But when the patient is deaf, it's not always easy to find an interpreter. Now a computer program is fixing that problem.

Communication between a deaf or hard of hearing patient has never been easier.

Here at Memorial Hospital, the staff demonstrates the latest technology.

"Just click and play. Like the internet." says leader of the project, Billy Allen

Video remote interpreting is a lot like a Skype video session. But instead of connecting with a friend, you're transferred to one of hundreds of interpreters based throughout the country.

"A lot of people in the sign language community would get really frustrated and the clinician was getting frustrated because they had no way to interact with the patient and they need interaction now."

Time is of the essence in a medical emergency. And writing something down on a paper isn't always a possibility.

"Sign language is not a written language...their English grammar structure is not the same and that makes it more frustrating."

But with the use of video remote interpreting--- doctors can diagnose faster.

"That's the whole idea, save lives, reduce anxiety, increase the healing process and get people to check in and out."

Memorial started the program in January and now has 174 active work stations. This doesn't replace interpreters who circulate through the hospital. But comes in handy when they're tied up and during those over night hours.

Memorial is one of the only hospitals in Colorado that has this program up and running for patients.



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