This is the third blog in a series where we will explore excellence in video remote interpreting and what to consider when selecting a language services partner.
The equipment used to access a VRI service can be critical to the overall delivery of effective communication with limited English proficient(LEP), Deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) patients, as it directly impacts everything from overall communication quality to the patient/provider experience. It's important to ask the right questions for equipment-related considerations when selecting the right VRI solution. Check out the full list of equipment we suggest for a high performing VRI program here.
Does the provider deliver multiple device/cart configuration options that are available across a variety of different care settings?
Most healthcare organizations provide care across a variety of medical settings where language access is required yet each of these locations may have needs specific to their department. It's important to understand if a VRI partner offers equipment suitable to supporting the goals of your language access program. Does the provider offer medical-grade VRI devices that are specifically designed and assembled to function in every clinical setting, including acute and non-acute care, hospitals and clinics as well as home care?
To effectively meet your needs across the care continuum, many healthcare providers require a variety of device sizes, designs and purposes such as:
- Large screens to provide effective visuals for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters
- Rolling carts for convenient VRI in tight spaces
- Small handheld devices to support VRI on the go
Additionally, we recommend audio options designed to cut through noisy surroundings to ensure the best communication for patients and providers.
Is it important for a VRI application to seamlessly interoperate (or integrate) with other applications that involve patient communication (e.g. telehealth, bedside media, etc.)?
Implementing a new VRI application can be daunting for healthcare providers, but if VRI is integrated with existing video conferencing applications that they already use in their clinical workflow, it can be a much easier transition. Telehealth is an example of a provider being able to seamlessly “invite” an interpreter to join a virtual consultation with an LEP or Deaf patient. Also, integrating with smart bedside solution providers, such as Oneview, clinicians can immediately connect with medically qualified interpreters through existing applications and equipment to improve clinical efficiency in an already crowded environment, enhance access to language services, and, ultimately, increase patient outcomes.
What additional VRI capabilities should be considered?
Privacy Screens. Privacy can be a major concern for patients, therefore, understanding whether or not a privacy screen can be enabled is an important consideration. When a patient requires privacy, either the patient or the provider should be able to activate the privacy screen which should be applied to one or both views of the video call.
Gender Specific Interpreters. For some patients, requesting a specific gender is extremely important and can enhance the patient experience and ensure their privacy. VRI providers may or may not provide the option to select a male or female interpreter, but it is a valuable options to improve the patient experience.
Analytics. Get in-depth, granular knowledge of how VRI is being used on a day-to-day basis. Also gain insights into larger trends of usage across your organization, facilities, and departments.
Additional features. Other features that support a quality medical interpreting experience may also include:
- Hands-Free Setting Controls
- Barcode Scanning
- Document upload
Is low cost equipment and pricing a red flag for a low quality VRI program?
No charge equipment and/or low cost per minute plans should be carefully evaluated against other more tailored and integrated options when considering how to best meet the ultimate goals of a quality language access program to increase compliance, improve clinical efficiencies and favorably impact outcomes while controlling cost.
How InDemand can help.
Informed by a thorough analysis of our clients and the healthcare market, InDemand has solutions designed to meet interpreting needs anytime, anywhere across the entire care continuum. Our VRI application is used today in virtually every care setting — acute and non-acute care, hospitals and clinics — and in the home. We support telehealth by enabling providers to add a medically qualified interpreter to their teleconsults, on demand. In addition, our suite of medical-grade VRI devices are specifically designed and assembled to function in every clinical setting. To learn more about how our VRI devices support better conversations, see here. In our next blog of this series, we explore “Ease of Use” and the ability to seamlessly access medically qualified interpreters.