January 24, 2018
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New technology connects EMMC patients with interpreters

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BANGOR, Maine — Last year, Eastern Maine Medical Center connected more than 500 patients with a free interpreter service, breaking down language barriers to ensure that patients and care providers were able to communicate effectively.

In healthcare, every minute counts and a new service at EMMC uses technology to connect patients with free interpreter services much quicker. Previously, patients may have had to wait for interpreters to travel to the hospital in person.

“We saw an opportunity to cut down on the time it took to connect a patient with an interpreter by using everyday technology found in many homes right in our community,” said Christopher Shaw, manager, EMMC Telecommunications, in a press release.

EMMC care providers now use iPads to securely connect patients with medically trained interpreters via video chat. Ten languages are currently available through this video service. Additionally, more than 198 languages are available through an audio conference.

“We know ensuring that patients understand their condition and their treatment options is a key component to improving their health. As an EMHS member, this free interpreter service is one way EMMC is making sure community members have access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” continued Christopher. The video chat service is available to patients at the EMMC Healthcare Mall, EMMC Cancer Care, and EMMC’s State Street campus.

Another EMHS affiliate, Acadia Hospital, will be implementing the service within the next few months.