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Employees of Methodist Healthcare System (MHS), including medical providers, admissions personnel and members of the International Services department, were extremely dissatisfied with the interpretation and translation support they were receiving from its then-contracted Language Services Provider.  From extremely long hold times to access a telephone Interpreter to the lack of customer service support to various hardware related issues with the telephones, MHS knew it was time for a change.  The prestigious healthcare provider wanted to ensure its Limited English Proficient (LEP) patient population was receiving the highest quality medical care possible – and they knew they needed to partner with a new Language Services Provider to make that happen.


Members of the International Services department of MHS spent a total of two years researching Language Services Providers in an attempt to find the best provider out there.  In November 2009, after a successful three-month pilot program, MHS awarded Language Services Associates (LSA) an exclusive three-year contract for interpretation and translation services, including Interpreting by Telephone (IBT), Face-to-Face Interpreting, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Translation and Localization.


Since partnering with LSA in 2009 for language services support, MHS has seen a number of vital improvements to its overall language access program.  According to Tatiana Sultzbach, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for MHS, “Employee, patient, physician and community satisfaction has improved tremendously since partnering with Language Services Associates.  Through this partnership, we have been able to effectively eliminate cultural and linguistic barriers for our ever-growing international patient population.”  Results also include a decrease in average connect time for telephone Interpreters and video remote Interpreters, and an increase in overall patient flow and throughput.

Connect Time
One of the main problems MHS had with its previous Language Services Provider was the extremely long hold times to access a telephone Interpreter.  Since the implementation of LSA’s telephone interpreting service, MHS has reported an average connect time of 15 seconds for a telephone Interpreter and 60 seconds for a video remote Interpreter for American Sign Language (ASL).

Real-Time Reporting
MHS has been effectively using INTERPRETRAC®, LSA’s proprietary Web-based, real-time reporting system, to identify which areas of the hospital Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients are visiting most frequently.  After analyzing this data, MHS strategically placed laptop computers (which are used to connect to a video remote Interpreter for ASL interpretation) in the Emergency Department, Admissions and Nursing Services Station in 19 of its direct patient care facilities. Doing this helped increase overall patient flow and throughput, while ensuring all Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients had immediate access to an ASL Interpreter.