With interpreters, LMH serves patients in the language they prefer

photo by: LMH Health

LMH Health, 325 Maine St., is pictured in May 2021.

Willkommen, bienvenido, yokoso, ‘ahlaan bik, welcome. No matter your preferred language, LMH Health is dedicated to making your visit comfortable and personalized. Through our interpreter services, we offer foreign language and sign language interpreters 24/7 with no additional cost.

When scheduling your appointment, let us know you are requesting an interpreter for your visit. Our care coordination team will reach out to our network of interpreters to have one available for you at your appointment via phone call or when available and by request, in person with you. Thanks to the generosity of donors in our community, the LMH Health Foundation provided funding to support the purchase of iPads for translation services.

Patients seeking unexpected and immediate care who need an interpreter should let staff know when they arrive, and a nurse will contact the 24/7 language line. LMH offers video translation for patients requesting sign language interpreters, as well.

By having interpreter services available, we hope to provide efficient and effective communication to patients, alleviate any fears or anxiety surrounding the visit and better engage patients in their care. Cary Allen, care coordinator, further explains the importance of interpreter services.

“When you’re talking about your health and medicine, the terminology can be unfamiliar and very complicated,” Allen said. “Sometimes we have follow-up questions, and we want to make sure we are talking to patients in correct and everyday language.”

By providing care in the patient’s preferred language, both our patients and care providers feel more confident in understanding the health condition, diagnosis and follow-up plan. LMH Health ICU/2-East director Amy Jarvis describes the role of interpreter services in the ICU.

“The nurses and physicians utilize these services to help explain the patient’s current health care findings to them,” said Jarvis. “The ongoing plan of care is extremely valuable to the health care team to gather specific information from the patient that can help guide care decisions and methods of treatment.”

Interpreter services also help in other areas of the hospital. Jan Wiebe, director of the emergency department, shares an example of how these services recently created a better experience during a follow-up procedure for a patient.

“We had a patient recently who was seen in the ED that we called for a follow-up with lab results after their discharge. I called and quickly realized I needed to use our interpreter services to communicate these results with the patient,” she said. “During the call, the patient shared that she had tried to call and schedule a follow-up appointment, but when she called the clinic, she couldn’t communicate what she needed due to the language barrier. We were able to connect this patient with interpreter services to schedule the follow-up that she needed. This patient was very appreciative and was able to get the appointment scheduled.”

Through our interpreter services, we can better support our patients throughout their stay and provide a clear understanding of what’s next.

“We hope that having interpreters available makes our patients feel more comfortable and confident that they are receiving the best care and are going home with the best plan,” Allen said.

— Katie Dankof is a marketing and communications intern with LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Journal-World’s Health section.


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