Improving the Patient Experience in Healthcare: Cultural and Linguistic Competence 

6 min read

Improving the Patient Experience in Healthcare: Cultural and Linguistic Competence 

Effective communication is critical in healthcare settings — especially when addressing the needs of patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Studies show LEP patients tend to be more vulnerable to harmful adverse events signaling the need for special attention when communicating with them. Cultural and linguistic competence in a clinic or hospital ensures that all patients receive timely and appropriate care, minimizing language barriers that can delay critical treatments. This competence not only aids in recognizing and adapting to the diverse cultural differences of individuals in our communities, but also enhances the effectiveness of healthcare providers in cross-cultural situations. 

Improving Health Equity through Language Services

Providing high-quality care through cultural and linguistic competence promotes health equity and significantly improves the patient experience. Unfortunately, language and cultural barriers can lead to severe consequences, including incorrect diagnoses, costly readmissions, low patient retention, and costly litigation. According to the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Database, nearly 59% of significant detrimental events in healthcare stem from communication failures. Additionally, many LEP patients often forgo seeking medical help due to the complexity of medical literature and lack of accessible information. For example, not being able to understand low-cost health plans or updates to programs like Medicaid. Implementing cultural competence strategies not only helps in reaching out to LEP patients effectively but also ensures they feel welcomed and understood. This in turn directly impacts their access to health services.

The Role of Medically Qualified Interpreters

Working with professional interpreters has shown to improve the clinical and quality of care among LEP patients. At Language Services Associates (LSA), we work with medically qualified interpreters who play a pivotal role in bridging communication gaps and improving overall patient experience. Interpreters are rigorously vetted and trained to provide the highest level of support to medical staff and LEP patients. This results in many benefits, including:
Understanding diversity and multicultural attributes allows our interpreters to ensure that all care preferences are clearly understood and respected, aligning with the patient’s cultural background.

Broadening Access to Professional Language Services

In the United States, roughly 22% of the population aged five and over speak a language other than English at home. Additionally, there were over 67 million international visitors in 2023 — translating to a substantial amount of people who likely require professional language services in medical settings. The quality of a patient’s healthcare experience depends heavily on the language access provided and the cultural competency of the medical staff. This is where professional interpreters truly make a difference and prove to be an invaluable addition to the medical staff. Learn more about LSA’s healthcare language support services or schedule a free consultation today.

About LSA

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient patients and customers. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds trust. LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, finance, banking, insurance, call center, legalsports industries, and many more industries.

LSA Celebrates: National Interpreter Appreciation Day

17 min read

LSA Celebrates: National Interpreter Appreciation Day 

Today (and every day), we take a moment to honor the vital role interpreters play in breaking down language barriers and facilitating clear communication across diverse communities. Interpreters do more than translate words — they convey meaning, emotions, and cultural nuances, ensuring that every voice is heard and understood. 

As we celebrate this important day, we’re excited to share stories from a few interpreters. These stories highlight the passion they bring to their profession and showcase the profound impact they have on people’s lives. Their contributions are invaluable — and today, we say thank you. 

Jordan Interpreter

JOSEPH

Haitian Creole Interpreter
Read more about Joseph's experience →

Beautiful sunset

One touching experience I had while interpreting was connecting with a Haitian woman who had recently immigrated to the USA. Despite the language barrier, we bonded over shared cultural experiences and struggles. Through interpretation, I was able to help her navigate various aspects of her new life, providing support and encouragement along the way. Seeing her gain confidence and integrate into her new community was truly inspiring.
— Joseph

Nhu: Vietnamese Interpreter

NHU

Vietnamese Interpreter
Read more about Nhu's experience →

Beautiful sunset

I chose to become an interpreter to reconnect with my love for languages. During nearly eight years working in this field, I have seen the power of interpretation countless times.

There was one particular call I still remember. Before I rendered the service, I was kindly informed by the therapist that the patient’s spouse refused to work with other interpreters during their marriage counseling sessions. However, the warmth of my voice and the accuracy of my interpretation gradually convinced her. She started to open up and share her feelings and thoughts. By the end of the long session, many of their misunderstandings were resolved and her marriage reached a new level of acceptance and reconciliation.

After that call, I became a strong believer in the power of interpretation. May this journey of helping others bring so much more love, inspiration, and motivation in the world around us all.
— Nhu

Jacob: Haitian, Creole Interpreter

JACOB

Haitian Creole Interpreter
Read more about Jacob's experience →

Beautiful sunset

I've been passionate about interpretation since high school, which is why I chose it as my career. I love breaking down communication barriers.
— Jacob

Stefany: Spanish Interpreter

STEFANY

Spanish Interpreter
Read more about Stefany's experience →

Beautiful sunset

Interpreting became one of my greatest passions because it gave me a purpose: "to become the voice of the unheard." I started working at LSA in 2020, a year that changed the course of humanity; especially for us medical interpreters. Even though I had previous experience interpreting, where I had witnessed beautiful moments like the birth of a child, as well as terrible moments like having to break the news to someone with cancer, I believe there was no training that could prepare us to face a global pandemic.

However, there is one story in particular that I will never forget: after several months of working tirelessly worldwide, as a united front to try (to the best of our abilities) to win the battle against COVID-19, I took a call. At the end of the call, the doctor took a moment to thank me for my services, but not in the almost automatic way that we usually get. He actually took a moment to acknowledge me as a human being, he said, "Most of the time, as doctors, we forget that there is an actual human being on the other side of the line, that is also helping us fight Covid-19. You are also working as hard as we are, but we are the ones getting all the credit. However, we couldn't do this without you. Interpreters are the unsung heroes of this pandemic."
— Stefany

Esther, Haitian Creole Interpreter

ESTHER

Haitian Creole Interpreter
Read more about Esther's experience →

Beautiful sunset

Working as an interpreter has always been life-changing for me. More importantly, it teaches me empathy, kindness, and to be a voice for others who can't make themselves understood. Having a good grasp of my culture also makes it easier to comprehend patients.
— Esther

Fernando, Spanish Interpreter

FERNANDO

Spanish Interpreter
Read more about Fernando's experience →

Beautiful sunset

Personally, I think being an interpreter is awesome. Knowing that I'm doing my best to help people, no matter if it's something good or bad, big or small, I get to be that bridge for people. Even though it is sometimes a big responsibility, it feels great! Seeing all the people you helped at the end of your shift is very satisfying and fulfilling. I could not ask for a better job. I feel blessed and very happy!
— Fernando

Jyotirmoy, Hindi/Bengali Interpreter

JYOTIRMOY

Hindi/Bengali Interpreter
Read more about Jyotirmoy's experience →

Beautiful sunset

I would like to share a story where I was on a call with a patient who was on the verge of delivering her baby. Given it was an emergency situation, I was careful to use a comforting tone while being vigilant of the minute details that may arise that needed interpretation. Even though the patient was not able to deliver her baby, I was able to support the client as well as the patient until the patient had been stabilized. These scenarios, where I've been able to help someone in need, have given me a good feeling about the work I do.
— Jyotirmoy

David, Spanish Interpreter

DAVID

Spanish Interpreter
Read more about David's experience →

Beautiful sunset

It's great to know that some providers recognize my voice and service. I can now say that I recognize one or two because of where they are calling from and how they communicate with both the LEP individual and interpreter. It's great to be recognized!"
— David

Josias, Spanish Interpreter

Josias

Spanish Interpreter
Read more about Josias's experience →

Beautiful sunset

My story is about the longest call I've ever had. A video call that lasted 9 hours and 38 minutes! It was a feel-good story because of the outcome. It started with the patient in the ER with a case of kidney failure. They moved the patient to the ICU. At one point the doctors thought they would have to start dialysis on the patient. However, as the day progressed and the treatment started to work, the kidneys recovered to the point where that wasn't necessary anymore. In the end, the patient was taken out of the ICU. It was good to experience the entire process and see the effort from the doctors and nurses that assisted the patient. Additionally, it felt really good to be part of the entire process through my skills!
— Josias

Regine, Haitian Creole

REGINE

Haitian Creole Interpreter
Read more about Regine's experience →

Beautiful sunset

In the bustling world of healthcare, where every word and connection matters, I found my calling as a Haitian Creole interpreter. It's not just about translating words; it's about weaving understanding and empathy into every conversation.

One particular experience stands out vividly. I was interpreting for a young Haitian immigrant who was apprehensive and uncertain about this new land. Through the magic of Video Remote Interpretation (VRI), I was able to bridge the gap between their native Creole and the medical jargon, transforming anxiety into reassurance. But before we settled into the serious matters, there was a moment of unexpected fun. As the video call connected, there was a brief, comical mix-up with the camera angles, resulting in an unintentional close-up of my nose! With a laugh, I quickly adjusted the camera, and we all shared a lighthearted moment before diving into the appointment.

Reflecting on my journey, I realize that the true essence of interpreting lies not in the technicalities but in the smiles exchanged, the fears eased, and the lives touched. I find fulfilment in those moments of shared humanity, knowing I've made a difference, one conversation at a time. So, here's to the power of interpreting, the unspoken connections it forges, and the countless lives it enriches. As I continue this vibrant journey, I carry the joy of bridging worlds and knowing that every thread matters in the tapestry of languages.
— Regine

Carlos, Spanish Interpreter

CARLOS

Spanish Interpreter
Read more about Carlos's experience →

Beautiful sunset

Interpretation to me is a learning tool. The people communicating learn what is needed to achieve their goal. It could be lifesaving information or just a simple diet plan. Personally, interpretation has changed my life. I remember how I used to almost feel afraid to answer or make a call to a company. I am not quite over my fear of Video Remote Interpretation. I think people don't want to see this old man staring at them... 😆 Interpretation makes me feel good because I get to help other people. I am able to fill that "gap" in their life. I love hearing "Gracias mi hijito eres una bendicion de Dios."
— Carlos

Partner with Language Services Associates for a Better Patient Experience

10 min read

Did you know that according to The Beryl Institute – Ipsos PX Pulse, 76% of Americans surveyed said they haven’t had a positive patient experience in the past three months, and 60% said they have had a negative healthcare experience entirely?

92% or respondents said that a good patient experience is highly important to them, which is overwhelmingly indicative of how important it is for healthcare facilities to consider what the patient journey looks like, and what areas need to be improved.

Now imagine navigating the healthcare system in the US when you don’t speak English.

Language access is essential to improving the patient experience when a non-English speaking patient enters your healthcare facility. By offering clear communication throughout the patient journey, you offer better care, favorable outcomes, and improve patient satisfaction.

LSA’s language services improve the patient experience through language, providing:

  • Improved understanding between doctors, nurses, staff, and patients
  • Positive health outcomes
  • Culturally sensitive care
  • Enhanced trust
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Shorter lengths of stay
  • Reduced readmissions
  • Improved HCAHPS scores

Provide Language Access for Your Multilingual Community

In the US, 22% of the population five years old and over speak a language other than English at home. That’s around 67.8 million people (roughly one in five) who likely need professional language access when calling or entering a hospital or medical facility.

For Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, limited access to health care is a growing issue, and tends to lead to higher risk for infectious and chronic diseases. Many people with LEP do not have access to regular care and lack a primary care physician that can offer preventative services. When entering a healthcare facility, the experience is often challenging, especially if there’s limited access to language assistance.

Partnering with LSA ensures your LEP patients can fully understand communications throughout the patient journey. From check-in to detailed prescription instructions and scheduling follow-up appointments, language access is a crucial determining factor in an LEP patient’s experience and care.

Why Language Support Matters

In a study from the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities entitled,  “Comparison of Sociodemographic Disparities in COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Outcomes Between Two Temporal Waves of Admissions,” it was discovered that, “Non-English-speaking language status independently predicted worse hospitalization outcomes in wave 1, underscoring the importance of targeted and effective in-hospital supports for non-English speakers.”

During wave 2, after implementing support for non-English speakers, this status was significantly improved, concluding that “…increasing in-person interpreter availability for non-Spanish languages, investing in video-based interpretation equipment for isolation rooms, and using signs to remind staff of patients’ preferred languages,” is highly effective. The study continues, “the COVID-19 virus may be novel, but the health system needs and inequities it is exposing are likely not.”

LSA offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions that ensure optimal care at your facility. Our customizable services assure that you’re fully prepared to break down language barriers and provide support to your doctors, nurses, medical staff, patient experience team, and patients.

Our highly qualified medical interpreters are rigorously vetted to offer the best experience for your staff and patients, eliminating health disparities and inequalities, and ensuring a better patient experience for LEP individuals at your facility. We have hundreds of languages available, onsite, over the phone, or via video.

Improve HCAHPS Scores

Determining a hospital’s overall patient experience involves evaluating responses to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. This survey is distributed to random patients after discharge, and establishes whether communication with patients is effective based on questions that explore how a patient felt during their experience:

  • Did the patient feel the doctor was listening to them?
  • Did they feel the doctor understood them?
  • Did they feel doctors explained things clearly?
  • Were medications and possible side effects described thoroughly?

Ensuring understanding between staff, doctors, and nurses with LEP patients can boost HCAHPS scores, and effectively improve the patient experience.

Why the Patient Experience Matters

A patient’s satisfaction with their hospital experience is measured by many factors, but chief among them is fast recovery, clear communication, and the patient’s ability to navigate the health system with ease. For an LEP individual, the inability to communicate effectively means longer wait times, extended hospital stays, poorer quality of care, and a higher risk of being readmitted.

A good patient experience is important because not only does the patient’s health depend on it, but a hospital’s reputation and costs depend on it too. Poor care leads to costly readmissions, poor HCAHPS scores, and weak patient retention.

As we’ve mentioned in our Breaking Down Language Barriers to Reduce Readmissions post, under programs created by the Affordable Healthcare Act, the federal government cuts payments to hospitals with high readmission rates, excessive numbers of infections, and substantial patient injuries. And for readmissions, Medicare cuts as much as 3% per patient as part of its readmission penalty system. In addition to these cuts, transparency in reporting a hospital’s readmissions can lead to potential patients going elsewhere for their care due to the impact these rates can have on a hospital’s reputation.

Partner with LSA to build positive doctor-patient relationships, translate and localize important medical documents, assess your bilingual staff’s ability to provide effective interpretation, and to offer interpreters on demand in hundreds of languages, including American Sign Language (ASL) 24/7/365. Our highly qualified medical interpreters, cutting-edge technology, and healthcare expertise provide your facility with the essential tools for improving the patient experience and providing optimal care.

Learn more about how LSA’s interpretation, translation, and language assessment services help to improve the patient experience, provide exceptional care, and uphold the reputation of your healthcare facility.

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.

Language Services Associates Ranks Fifth for Midsize Companies in Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top Workplaces 2023

4 min read
Language Services Associates, Inc. (LSA) is thrilled to announce that it has been ranked the 5th best workplace in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top Workplaces 2023 for midsized companies. This is a remarkable achievement that underscores a commitment to employee satisfaction and excellence in the language industry.   The Inquirer’s Top Workplaces 2023 celebrates workplaces going above and beyond in the Philadelphia region and is a testament to LSA’s dedication to creating a positive and inclusive work environment. The award is based on employee feedback gathered through a confidential employee engagement survey, conducted by Energage.  
“This survey validates what we have believed for a long time – that LSA is truly one of the best places to work,” said Scott Cooper, President at LSA.  “Our workplace culture is one of our most important values.  It allows talented, passionate, and driven individuals to make a real difference in people’s lives every day.   We pride ourselves on working together, listening to one another, and creatively finding solutions to help our customers engage with patients and customers who do not share a common language.  Our people take immense pride in what they do together.” 
For over three decades, LSA’s dedicated employees have been helping break down language barriers around the world, facilitating meaningful communication through a full suite of customizable language solutions including video remote, over the phone, onsite interpretation services, conferences, sports and entertainment, and content translation and localization. LSA’s inclusive work environment allows it to thrive in the competitive language access market by fostering an environment that incorporates teamwork, openness, and collaboration. With strong focus on quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, LSA services healthcare organizations, government, financial and banking institutions, insurance, entertainment, sports, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  Learn more about LSA and join our team today!   Contact us at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form for more information. 

Breaking Down Language Barriers to Reduce Readmissions

8 min read
In the US, 22% of the population five years old and over speak a language other than English at home. That’s approximately 67.8 million people (roughly one in five) who likely need professional language access when entering a hospital or medical facility.  Language barriers in a medical setting weaken the quality of care limited English proficient (LEP) patients receive, waste resources, and lead to high healthcare costs. If a patient cannot understand how to make or confirm an appointment, comprehend information pertaining to medication, follow-up, and discharge instructions, or know how to prepare for a surgery, their health is at risk (for surgeries that require fasting, this can be very dangerous, and can waste hospital resources). LEP patients tend to be readmitted significantly more often than English-speaking patients, or those provided with a qualified medical interpreter. CRICO Strategies medical safety experts discovered that out of 23,000 malpractice suits, 7000 resulted from failed communication. These cases amounted to $1.7 billion in malpractice costs and approximately 2000 preventable deaths.   A qualified medical interpreter ensures seamless and accurate communication between a doctor and patient. Language Services Associates (LSA) medical interpreters are highly proficient in medical terms and treatments, and can be the difference between a patient receiving the care they need or ending up back at your facility. Our medical interpreters will make sure that patients understand how to prepare for surgery, their discharge/aftercare instructions, and directions for prescribed medication. LSA’s interpreters ensure that language and cultural barriers do not get in the way of proper care. Our customizable services guarantee cost effective solutions, efficient communication, and culturally accurate translation & localization to meet your needs.      How Qualified Interpreters Affect Readmissions and Lengths of Stay  The National Library of Medicine did a study where researchers were tasked with investigating the differences in lengths of stay and readmission rates among limited English proficient (LEP) patients. 3071 patients were divided into those receiving professional interpretation at admission or discharge, and those not receiving professional interpretation at all. They found that approximately 15% of patients receiving professional interpretation were readmitted within 30 days, while 24% of patients who were not provided a professional interpreter were readmitted within the same time frame – that’s a 9% difference. A professional interpreter was also the key difference in the average length of stay. Patients provided with a professional interpreter stayed for approximately two and a half days, while those patients without access to a professional interpreter stayed an average of around five days.  The Financial Impact of Readmissions  In a separate study, the National Library of Medicine found that higher readmission numbers impact a hospital’s finances, noting that profits are reduced when a provider’s resources are further utilized. Readmissions that could be avoided with the use of a professional interpreter incur unnecessary costs. Under programs created by the Affordable Healthcare Act, the federal government cuts payments to hospitals with high readmission rates, high numbers of infections, and patient injuries. And regarding readmissions, Medicare cuts as much as 3% per patient as part of its readmission penalty system. In addition to these cuts, transparency in reporting a hospital’s readmissions can lead to potential patients going elsewhere for their care due to the impact these rates can have on a hospital’s reputation.  Reduce Readmissions, Build Trust, and Improve Patient Care with LSA  LSA’s medical interpreters are carefully vetted and undergo an extensive assessment process, ensuring they have a deep knowledge of medical terminology, treatments, and diagnoses. They’re compliant with all laws and regulations regarding privacy, and they have the cultural knowledge and sensitivity to accurately render both verbal and non-verbal communication in a hospital setting. They help foster clear communication for improved understanding of prescription and treatment plans, ultimately reducing extended hospital stays and adverse consequences, while decreasing the cost of care and litigation risks. They reduce disparities in health equity for LEP patients, and build trust between a patient and their family with a physician or medical team.   Learn more about LSA’s medical interpreters and translation solutions to reduce readmission rates, protect your facility’s reputation, and ensure your LEP patients receive the care they deserve.  Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  About LSA  Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

LSA Sponsors the 2023 US Deaf Golf Championships

5 min read
Language Services Associates (LSA) last week had the honor of sponsoring the 2023 US Deaf Golf Championship Tournament, hosted at the Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander, WI.  Going above and beyond typical corporate sponsorship, LSA worked with nationally certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, Ann Sarkauskas, to dedicate her time and skill for the duration of the Tournament. Ann was instrumental in facilitating communication between the Chairman, Board Members, Tournament Players, Pro Shop Staff, Food and Beverage personnel, and many more, both Deaf and Hard of Hearing and hearing.  
“Though a challenging environment and challenging subject matter, it was an enriching experience to interpret for 100+ Deaf people interacting with golf course staff and non-signing attendees.  LSA generously donated my time as their employee to the USDGA as a means of sponsorship for the association and the event,” said Ann. “The tournament just happened to take place in my tiny hometown, due to it having one of the nicest and most challenging golf courses in the country! I was able to visit my place of birth and raising while working to provide language access to the Deaf Community, to which I owe my profession and career this past 3 decades.  I am ever grateful to my employer, LSA, for their contribution, and to the USDGA for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” 
Throughout the week, Ann acted as a seamless broker between sign language users and non-signers. Her inclusion and expertise significantly contributed to the success of the tournament.  USDGA Chairman Paul Rutowski expressed his deep appreciation for the collaboration with LSA, and the invaluable contribution made to the United States Deaf Golf Association’s Tournament.  
“Ann, the top-notch professional interpreter provided by LSA, played a pivotal role in the success of our tournament. Her fluency in ASL and exceptional communication skills were instrumental in bridging the gap between signers and non-signers throughout the entire week. With Ann’s assistance, communication flowed seamlessly, allowing everyone involved, from the Chairman to the Board Members, Players, Pro Shop, and Food and Beverage staff, to connect and engage effortlessly.”  
Paul went on to share, “I am truly grateful for the outstanding collaboration with LSA, as they fulfilled our need not only for Deaf ASL users but also for our service providers and operations staff. Their commitment to excellence made a lasting impact on our event.”  About LSA    Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient patients and customers. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  

REBRANDING ANNOUNCEMENT: LSA Updates with Exciting & Modern Logo

5 min read

Exciting New Logo 

(July 2023) After more than three decades in business, Language Services Associates (LSA) has launched its new logo and appearance with an exciting view towards the future.  LSA remains the same industry leading language service provider customers rely on every day, but has a new and exciting look!   

With this rollout, LSA matches more directly its branding to its work, passion, vision, the solutions it brings to its amazing network of interpreters, people who speak different languages, and to its partners.    

The new logo has a vibrant and modern look, with brighter colors, sharper edges, and the “LSA Full Stop” – punctuating LSA’s full-service approach to providing the best customer service from start to finish – all reflecting its commitment to excellence in language services. Effective July 2023, the following logos will identify LSA to its customers (current and future), interpreters, employees, and vendors: 

LSA New Logos (2023)

Why the New Look? 

LSA’s old logo reflects the foundation it was built on and symbolizes how it got to where it is today. LSA is proud of its history and the accomplishments it has achieved with its customers over the past three decades. LSA proudly remains one of the leading language service providers offering a full suite of language services that allow our diverse communities to be included in all aspects of life, regardless of language. 

LSA has continued to evolve since its early days, but its logo and themed appearances have remained the same. LSA is thrilled to unveil a fresh new logo, new colors, and new themes that symbolize not only its progress but also its culture, its work, and the partnerships shared with thousands of clients to make the world a more understood and inclusive place. 

LSA is grateful for the support of its clients and partners over the years, and looks forward to continuing to serve you with the same level of dedication and commitment in the years to come.  

These logos, colors, and themes will also show prominently on LSA’s website, collateral, written communications, and proposals. 

Sunset Logo 

Effective September 30, 2023, LSA will sunset its prior logo for all new materials.  LSA still retains all rights to the mark, and previous information with that logo and mark remain valid unless expressly stated otherwise and in writing by an authorized representative of LSA. 

Questions? 

Any questions about LSA’s new logo or designs should be directed to LSA’s Marketing Department at Marketing@LSA.inc. 

Language Services Associates Recognized as One of the Top Workplaces USA for 2023

4 min readLanguage Services Associates (LSA) is thrilled to announce it has been named as one of the “Top Workplaces USA” and “in Philadelphia Inquirer Top Workplaces” for 2023. Top Workplaces USA celebrates organizations with 150 or more employees that have developed a positive workplace culture that stands out.  

LSA’s employees have been helping companies and governmental units break down barriers with their limited English proficient (LEP) customers and patients for over 30 years. With a dedicated team of passionate people, LSA helps facilitate meaningful communication through various customizable language solutions, including video, phone, in-person, and translations. By encouraging an inclusive working environment built on teamwork, openness, and collaboration, LSA continues to thrive in the competitive language access market. 

“LSA is a very special place. It is one of the best language companies in the world because of our amazing and passionate employees. Talent, dedication, intellect, and passion drive our team, and daily promote our culture where each person can shine. Our employees truly make a difference in the lives of people every day, and their enthusiasm shows,” said Scott Cooper, LSA’s President. “Combining our individual strengths, working together, and meeting our goals through teamwork and creativity, allows us to continue doing what we love most, help people” added John Lizana, LSA’s Director of Human Resources. 

Recently, LSA was also listed among DSMN8’s top ten “World’s Most Active Translation & Localization Professionals on Social -1k” list. Analyzing data from thousands of companies, DSMN8 ranked LSA among the highest when it came to employees sharing work-related content across social media platforms. 

Winners of the Top Workplaces USA list are chosen based solely on employee feedback gathered through a confidential employee engagement survey, conducted by Energage.  

Learn more about LSA and join our team today! 

Contact us at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds. 

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 235 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. 

The Cost of High-Quality Interpretation: A Low Rate Doesn’t Mean Savings

5 min readInvesting in a strategy to help your limited English proficient (LEP) patients or customers is an admirable goal, and being sure you’re getting the best deal is integral to offering high-quality services without emptying your pockets.  

When considering a partnership with a language service provider the first thing an organization weighs is price. The price of interpretation is a fair consideration to make. But when thinking about cost, it’s important to contemplate more than just the number laid out before you. While a low hourly or minute rate may seem appealing, it can cost you more than you bargained for if that interpreter is not carefully vetted, experienced, or qualified for your situation. 

A qualified interpreter may have a higher per-minute rate than someone without a specialized skillset, but there are several reasons for this. Interpreting is more than just converting words from one language to another – it’s understanding meaning, context, cultural nuisances, and having a background in a particular field, like healthcare for instance. Medical interpreters have a broad knowledge of medical terminology and treatments and are well-versed in healthcare regulations and ethical standards. With a qualified medical interpreter, clear communication between a doctor and LEP patient is assured, which reduces costly readmissions and lengths of stay. These calls/sessions also tend to be shorter because a qualified medical interpreter doesn’t need as much time for clarification as an interpreter without a medical background (extra minutes add up even while an interpreter has a lower rate). In the long run, a more qualified interpreter saves you time and money even if their rate appears to be higher on the surface – and this applies to all sectors from legal to finance. 

At Language Services Associates (LSA) we hold our interpreters to a high standard, with a meticulous six-step assessment process, and only one in every 40 candidates making it through our qualification procedure. Our interpreters are carefully vetted, industry-specialized, and frequently monitored to ensure that we are providing the highest quality service possible.  

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

About LSA 

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.  

Six Reasons You Need to Partner with a Language Service Provider

13 min readIn any industry, the ability to communicate with your clients, patients, or customers is critical to your success, and allowing language barriers to get in the way can be costly. The world continues to become more globalized every day. Employing the technological solutions and expertise of a language service provider will give you the necessary tools for offering clear communication with your limited English proficient (LEP) patients, clients, or customers, while also ensuring you’re in compliance with state and federal laws. Expanding your reach outside of one language group can be the difference between making it or getting left behind – not only for yourself, but for 67.8 million people that speak a language other than English at home. Providing language access via a language service provider is the best way to support equal access for limited English-proficient communities at your school, business, hospital, or practice. 

Here are Six Reasons to Partner with a Language Service Provider Today: 

 1. Access to Underserved Markets 

If your organization is looking to expand, it’s important to note that most consumers/patients prefer communicating in their language. Whether you’re looking to increase your reach globally, within the United States, or in your community, incorporating a language access plan into your services is a great way to avoid alienating a substantial portion of the population, while breaking into an often overlooked yet growing market. Language and cultural competency are fundamental to the inclusion of diverse people, and taking shortcuts when it comes to communication and outreach can have consequences.  

Businesses looking to target new markets with products or services geared towards a specific community or language group may benefit from expert cultural consultation. Even companies with the best intentions risk costly setbacks due to missteps in cultural competency – there have been several instances where large companies have had to pull or discontinue products due to cultural inaccuracies.  

At Language Service Associates (LSA) our interpreters and translation teams are language and cultural experts that can help you avoid errors and ensure that your efforts to reach a wider audience are successful.  

2.  Complying with State and Federal Laws 

Depending on your industry, you may be required by language access laws to provide interpreters for your limited English proficient (LEP) clients/patients. These laws include Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Executive Order 13166, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Primarily, businesses and organizations that receive federal funding typically need to abide by these laws – schools, healthcare facilities, government offices, etc. But states may have their own laws that can also apply to several other sectors. Partnering with a trusted language provider offers you consultative experts that complement your internal teams with expertise in language services. This assures you receive the appropriate solutions necessary for complying with mandatory state and federal laws, that fit seamlessly into your routine and budget. LSA offers guidance and support to ensure that you fully adhere to mandatory regulations, and have the tools necessary to support your LEP population. 

3.  Improving Customer or Patient Services 

Communication is key in business transactions or providing care for patients or customers that require native language support. The easier it is to communicate, the better the experience will be for everyone – this is especially true in the healthcare sector where jargon and complex terminology can be difficult to understand in any language. Miscommunication can lead to mistrust, loss of clients, misunderstood diagnosis or treatment, and numerous issues that can negatively impact your business or practice. A language provider offers interpreters trained and/or certified in different sectors that keenly understand industry terminology and standards. These interpreters help bridge a gap between staff/employees and their LEP clients/patients that often gets in the way of providing first-rate service or care. LSA’s interpreters are selected only after enduring a rigorous qualification process with only one in 40 meeting our standards. These interpreters are well-versed and highly experienced in their specialized sector and can be the difference you need. 

 4. Building Brand Trust 

In various cultures and languages, messages can be interpreted in many ways. While in English, your business may be sending a clear message to your customers, that same message may have an entirely different meaning in Arabic or Spanish. Partnering with a trusted language service provider will give you the tools to communicate clearly with LEP populations, breaking down language and cultural barriers. This will protect your brand’s reputation and build trust among consumers who seek out organizations that make an effort to communicate with them. Building consumer trust begins with clear communication in a variety of languages. Language Services Associates has a team of highly experienced translators and interpreters with expertise in the business sector to facilitate clear, culturally appropriate communication between your company and diverse clientele.  

5. Saving Money 

In most industries, encountering people who speak another language is fairly common. How an organization addresses their diverse clientele can be the difference between not only offering the right products or care, but also how much money is lost or spent. A bilingual employee may help with a customer or two, but remember that a bilingual employee doesn’t have the same range of knowledge and experience that a qualified interpreter brings to the table. Asking a bilingual employee to serve as an interpreter also puts pressure on them while taking time away from their actual job. A professional interpreter’s experience goes beyond just understanding language – they know cultural nuances, body language, and can convey meaning faster than your average person (especially when a word doesn’t have an equivalent in another language). Legally, using an employee in place of an interpreter can have consequences. In medical settings, if an untrained bilingual employee was to misinterpret a word or meaning, this could result in errors of diagnoses, treatment, and aftercare. This might lead to patients being readmitted, or a lawsuit if serious consequences were to transpire for the patient. 

You can hire a freelance interpreter, which may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short-term, but they tend to set their own schedules and charge a high price – and since they set their own itinerary, the wait to bring them into your facility can be costing you money in the interim. Language providers carefully vet their interpreters and offer industry-specialized agents that have undergone rigorous training and monitoring.  A language provider offers access to over-the-phone interpreters (OPIs) on demand in hundreds of languages ready to take your call. Or, if it’s more appropriate, video and in-person solutions are available as well. LSA improves the client experience and agent metrics when a client interaction requires an interpreter.  

6. Access to Hundreds of Languages with Sector-Specific Expertise  

Through various customizable solutions, language service providers offer a direct line to hundreds of languages and dialects. Interpreters specialize in individual fields (medical, finance & banking, contact centers, legal, etc.) with a clear understanding of the terminology used, and access to tools and study guides to keep their skills sharp and up to date. From American Sign Language to Spanish to rare dialects, language providers have the tools to prevent communication oversights that can harm your business. LSA’s interpreters have access to reference material and study guides for continuous training. They’re monitored and tested to maintain the highest quality standards. 

Learn more about LSA’s customizable solutions today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds. 

Why a Bilingual Family Member or Friend is Never a Good Substitute for a Medical Interpreter

7 min readThe notion that a bilingual family member or friend can act as an interpreter has repeatedly proven to be a repeated problem, especially in hospital settings where sensitive information needs to be passed between a doctor and a patient. A family member or friend should never carry the burden of telling someone they love that they have a life-threatening condition or diagnosis – nor are they trained to do so.

In the US, 67.8 million people speak a language other than English at home, and that number is expected to grow.  Partnering with a trusted language service provider (LSP) is the best way to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) patients, customers, clients, etc., receive the same treatment and access as their English-speaking counterparts.

Medical Interpreters Do More Than Interpret Spoken Language

A qualified medical interpreter does more than interpret words. They read the room, understand the meaning of what’s being said, recognize body language, and are knowledgeable of cultural nuances to ensure that nothing is lost in translation and that cultural customs aren’t barriers to care. While a family member may be hesitant to use certain language in front of a relative and work around it with different wording (especially for intimate questions), an interpreter has the training to remove themselves from the situation, being sure that everything is communicated accurately and professionally. It’s also extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal for patients not to have a professional interpreter to communicate with their healthcare provider. Medical interpreters are  fluent in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the importance of confidentiality, whereas a bilingual individual acting as an interpreter wouldn’t necessarily have the training to understand the significance of privacy regulations.

The Dangers of Not Having a Qualified Medical Interpreter

In one instance, according to NPR, a nine-year-old Vietnamese child was taken to the emergency room by her parents, suffering from symptoms of an apparent stomach flu. Her parents didn’t speak any English and the hospital did not have an interpreter to facilitate communication. Hospital staff instead spoke English to the young girl and her 16-year-old brother, sending the family home with written instructions (in English) after prescribing her a medication not typically meant for children. The instructions, unbeknownst to the parents, said for the girl to return to the hospital immediately if she experienced specified side effects. She had an adverse reaction to the medicine and died of a heart attack. The doctor and hospital paid $200,000 in damages to the unfortunate family who lost their daughter over a communication discrepancy that could have easily been avoided.

Opportunity to Help Your LEP Patients

Partnering with Language Services Associates ensures that your medical facility can connect patients and doctors to qualified medical interpreters in seconds. Interpreters are familiar with concepts and terminology from various medical specialties and are well-versed in healthcare regulations and ethical standards. Whether it’s video, over-the-phone, or in-person interpretation, partnering with LSA provides  access to over 235 languages within seconds, from a network of over 6000 interpreters who have undergone a rigorous six-step assessment process to be approved to work on our platform. Take advantage of our customizable solutions and connect with a medical interpreter who has the experience and knowledge to provide accurate communication. It saves lives.

If you have bilingual staff, our Language Assessments & Testing program can gauge the language proficiency and interpreting ability of your dual-role bilingual employees according to industry standards. This ensures compliance, reduces risk, and allows your facility to offer the highest quality care.

Learn more about LSA’s interpretation and translation solutions for healthcare today!

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.

About LSA

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For more than 2,000 clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

Breathe New Life into Language for This Year’s International Mother Language Day

8 min readThere are over 7,000 languages spoken throughout the world, with 2,400 in danger of becoming extinct. Many of these are native languages spoken by Indigenous people around the globe, that have ties to unique histories and cultures – histories and cultures on the precipice of dying out with the languages themselves. Without recognition and qualified language support, the disappearance of these native languages can put people at risk. 

International Mother Language Day is observed annually on February 21st to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved the holiday in November 1999, and the UN officially recognized it in 2002.  

The day serves to highlight the importance of multiculturalism, and to support the preservation of languages spoken by people throughout the world. Protecting language and culture effectively safeguards against inequality, discrimination, and alienation of populations, advances inclusion, and allow various cultures and worldviews to coexist.  

Not Having a Reliable Language Provider Can Have Dire Consequences for Indigenous Peoples

In September 2022, the west coast of Alaska was devastated by Typhoon Merbok, forcing the Chevak Native Village and the City of Chevak to declare a state of emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hired a translation company to convert information about applying for disaster recovery assistance into two Alaska Native languages – Yugtun and Iñupiaq. 

According to Alaska Public Media, numerous sources said the translations received were not accurate, leaving approximately 13,000 people without the translated documents necessary for getting help. 

Linguist Gary Holton, who spent 20 years documenting Alaska Native languages at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Native Language Center, said that whoever translated the documents into Yup’ik lifted phrases from the Rubtsova texts – a collection of language and folklore from Far East Russia published in the Soviet Union in the 1940s. 

Holton pointed out that the translations were nonsensical, noting that where FEMA’s news release read “State News Desk,” the translated version read, “when she said so, the dog ran farther off from the curtain.” 

Tara Sweeney, the former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, told Alaska Public Media, “There’s a lot of that historical trauma of being beaten in schools because they were speaking their Indigenous languages, which is why there’s a generation of us in Alaska that struggle with fluency.” 

FEMA took responsibility for the incident, fired the agency that did the translations, and immediately had them corrected. Fortunately, no one was denied aid. 

Not a single person should be denied help during an emergency because of the language they speak. Understanding the significance of language access during an emergency is critical, and speaking a native language is not a reason to receive lesser services or no service at all. Partnering with a reliable language service provider can be a game changer for people who speak languages of lesser diffusion (like Yugtun and Iñupiaq, these are native languages spoken by a small population in a geographic area) and the organizations that aim to help them. 

Education and a Reliable Language Service Provider Help Keep Languages Alive 

On their website, UNESCO explains, “Globally, 40 percent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.” 

International Mother Language Day serves to recognize and revive languages that are vanishing or on the verge of dying out. By educating people about the importance of language and its ties to rich cultures and histories, it encourages people to continue learning these languages, and can prevent awful mishaps like what occurred in Alaska from happening again. 

Language Services Associates (LSA) provides native language support with a team of highly qualified, carefully vetted interpreters and translators. We understand the importance of accurate, culturally appropriate language conversion, and offer customizable services to ensure that your organization can communicate with LEP populations clearly and effectively. 

Learn more about Language Services Associates’ interpretation and translation solutions today! 

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

About LSA   

Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For more than 2,000 clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial and banking, insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.