Beaumont, Royal Oak Offers Video Interpreting Service
Video remote interpreters offer instant access for patients and caregivers
When you’re not feeling well and scared, having to go to the hospital is bad enough. But when English isn’t your primary language, or you use American Sign Language to communicate, the fear can be compounded by frustration.
Enter: MARTTI, My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter.
| Waterford resident Laura Ingham, who is deaf, liked
Beaumont's video interpreting service- MARTTI.
“MARTTI is a video relay interpreting service we’ve been piloting at the Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak,” explains Patricia Avery, Nursing Administration systems coordinator. “It’s a video screen on wheels that we can bring to a patient who requires an interpreter. It takes just a few seconds to sign on and speak through an interpreter.”
When the small screen arrives in front of the patient, the health care provider signs on to the touch screen program and asks for an interpreter for the language needed. There are currently 17 languages available for video interpreting and 170 for audio interpreting. A few seconds later, a window with the interpreter pops up and the session begins. It’s similar to the popular Internet site Skype.
Waterford resident Laura Ingham, who is deaf, tried a demonstration of MARTTI. “It was nice,” she says. “It’s a good idea for interpreting and making appointments. It’s less frustrating and easier to understand, and that’s important.”
MARTTI has been used at Beaumont, Royal Oak for six months. It has received positive reviews from both patients and caregivers, especially in the Emergency Center, when time is critical.
“With a growing population of patients for whom English is not their preferred spoken language, it is vital that we assess and improve the language services that we offer,” says Lauren Hill, diversity director, Beaumont Health System.
The video interpreting service is a result of the Beaumont‘s participation in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality: Language Quality Improvement Collaborative. Funded by a $15,000 grant from the RWJF, Beaumont was one of nine hospitals across the nation that participated in the language initiative.
Detroit was selected by the RWJF as one of five communities nationwide to serve as a learning laboratory for improving language services and the quality of care being delivered in a given region. The Greater Detroit Area Health Council coordinated local efforts for the one-year program. Along with Beaumont, Royal Oak, Oakwood and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospitals are also participated in the language initiative. Beaumont and these hospitals tested new ideas, quantified results and shared lessons learned with other hospitals locally and nationwide.
“Last year, we provided interpretation services for more than 42 languages at the Royal Oak hospital,” says Pat. “While we recognize that MARTTI is not the answer for all situations, it can really help out others by allowing immediate access to a qualified health care interpreter. Its ease of use will encourage physicians and clinicians to use it and help to discourage the use of family or friends of the patients as interpreters.”
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A Beaumont media relations contact is always available. Call the main office from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. After hours, weekends and holidays, call 248-898-5000 and ask for contact information for the media relations representative on-call.