Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

04/08/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/08/2021 06:50

Survey seeks to improve Penn State Health’s translation services

A Penn State Health team is evaluating the health system's ability to translate and interpret for its non-English-speaking patients with an eye toward making improvements.

April 8, 2021Penn State Health Daily Brief

The systemwide team is seeking input from employees, patients and families to find areas for better coordination, standardization and program enhancements. Employees and faculty can help by completing a ten-question survey, by Friday, April 30.

The survey asks how easy health system's translation services to use, how often employees use them and what obstacles they encounter.

Adequate translation is critical to delivering quality health care, experts say, and leads to better patient outcomes and positive family experiences. Penn State Health leaders say a robust program promotes effective communications between patients, families, clinicians and staff.

The survey's ultimate goal is to implement an innovative translational and language interpretive program to meet the current and future needs of patients, families and the system's faculty and staff. As the Penn State Health system expands in the region, leaders expect for demand for translational services to grow.

In addition to analyzing the survey results, the team will:

  • Review system coordination of language interpretive services
  • Contact similar health systems across the country to identify best practices
  • Obtain feedback from a diverse advisory group that includes patients, families and clinicians
  • Consider how to more effectively integrate bilingual employee skills in the workplace and in all care environments

Penn State Health Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Lynette Chappell Williams and other key stakeholders laid the foundation for this comprehensive assessment of the system's language interpretive and translation services through earlier work on this issue. Hershey Medical Center Vice President of Operations Mona Miliner and a systemwide team is leading the initiative.

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