According to the US Census Bureau, more than 8% of United States residents struggle to communicate well in English. In some states, as high as 45% of residents would benefit from having a translator to communicate in English. VeeMed recently integrated Voyce virtual translation services into its telehealth platform. The partnership makes Voyce’s medically trained interpreters available in real-time during provider-patient video calls via VeeMed’s technology.

Voyce is a leading provider of live, remote services that specializes in legal, healthcare, and business interpretation. A variety of hospitals, outpatient care centers, providers, and pharmacies in the US and Canada already rely on Voyce for on-demand interpretation accessed through Voyce’s call center. By integrating Voyce into its multi-platform telehealth systems, VeeMed has eliminated the call center. That means shorter wait times — frequently 20 seconds or less — and increased convenience for both providers and patients.

Clear, sensitive communication is a crucial element of quality healthcare. When speaking with non-English speakers, many practices rely on family members or bilingual staff for translation. Unfortunately, these arrangements can result in misinterpretation: a risk that can have serious consequences that can even be life-threatening. Such risks may violate HIPAA regulations, increase liability for the healthcare organization, and affect professional certification scores.

With Voyce integration, providers using VeeMed telehealth platforms have access to live, remote interpretation for more than 40 languages. The translators have certifications in medical/healthcare interpretation and experience with HIPAA-compliant communication across a broad range of healthcare specialties. New Voyce interpreters must complete training and an exam in topics such as patient advocacy, common care scenarios, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics.

In an increasingly multilingual society, the new partnership offers a respectful and inclusive addition to the benefits of telemedicine. Using technology to connect live interpreters to patients and families in need of their skills is an innovative approach that doesn’t discount the need for a human element when dealing with critical and sensitive issues, such as healthcare.