How Helse Møre & Romsdal ERs save valuable time

At the emergency departments at Helse Møre & Romsdal, the staff has always experienced a language gap that couldn't be solved with interpreters or other technology. With Care to Translate, they can now communicate with all patients, resulting in both time and money savings and happier patients and employees.

About Helse Møre & Romsdal

Helse Møre & Romsdal is a group of hospitals located in the Norwegian cities of Ålesund, Kristiansund, Molde and Volda. They provide specialist healthcare services and work to ensure that the patients receive the best possible health care services in the region. 

The emergency departments in all four hospitals have used Care to Translate since the beginning of 2022. We spoke to Kjetil Bjørdal, intensive care nurse in Ålesund and the project manager for Care to Translate in the company, to understand how they use the app and what they think about it.

Intensive care nurse Kjetil Bjørdal using Care to Translate on a tablet

The problem:

Difficult to sync up with interpreters

“We have had big issues with telephone interpreters. If we need an interpreter for a patient immediately, we have to find an interpreter for that language that is available at the same time as a nurse and doctor in the room, and a telephone with a speaker. It takes a lot of resources to synchronize. And sometimes up to 1-2 hours of our time. Sometimes the telephone interpreters just don't call back. Then we are left with no interpreter, but still get invoiced for it. “ Kjetil says.

AI-driven and speech-to-speech app didn’t work

In worst case scenarios, they tried to communicate with Google Translate, but that didnt work at all. The patient didnt understand (the context) and there was no way to verify that what they said was actually correct.  They also tried a speech-to-speach translation app, but in the risk analysis they found that it is not safe from a patient perspective since the voice recordings are saved on servers abroad, and they have no control over the information. 

Why they choose Care to Translate:

No thresholds to using it

Helse Møre & Romsdal found out from ambulance colleagues that the app existed. “It was very quick to get started. What took time was the internal risk analysis that needed to be done before officially starting to use the app.” In a very thorough vulnerability and risk analysis, they found no thresholds to using Care to Translate. Not from a safety perspective or patient integrity perspective. 

User friendliness

Another thing that was important when choosing Care to Translate was the user friendliness. They found it easy to start using, with minimal training time.
“We are pressed for time, and can't afford long implementation or training sessions”, says Kjetil.  “We also love that the content has been verified by bilingual health care professionals. We can be sure that the translation is correct, and fits the context. “

“We decided to go for CTT because it was so easy to get started with. We have looked into other solutions, but we are very happy with CTT.”

Playlists the most loved feature

“A feature they love are the playlists  we can create, with phrases that we use often. I usually compare it to Spotify where you have the songs that you like, but instead it is  questions we need to ask. It makes the tool very easy to work with. “

This is the one thing that took some effort for them in the beginning. The super user needed  to create the customized playlists in the Admin portal. The admin portal is only available in Swedish and English and that made it a little bit more complicated for them. But once that was done, it was done (Now, the admin portal is available in other languages as well, including Norwegian).

How they use the tool

When asked how they use the app, Kjetil answers:  “In the ER department we are actually fine just using the app by itself, many of the times. We can use it for all communication; from meeting them in the door, to examinations, taking tests, the whole visit to the ER, really”.

He continues: “If we need to have a deeper conversation with the patient and ask questions that doesn't only need a yes/no answer, then of course we have to call a telephone interpreter.”  

The results

Time with patient more effective

According to him, reception and examination of  patients not speaking Norwegian has become much more efficient.  With the app they can ask questions that patients answer,  without them going off script and telling personal anecdotes. “We keep the focus on here and now”.

In a recent interview in Norwegian newspaper Dagens Medisin, Kjetil mentioned that the median time for finding an interpreter is 36 minutes, and then they may not always available. The median time for starting the Care to Translate app is 26 seconds . “It goes without saying that it is a big difference” said Kjetil.

Money saved on interpreters

With Care to Translate, Helse Møre & Romsdal has saved a lot of money on interpreters. Interpreters cost many thousands of kronor and we don't have a lot of resources. Its often quite time- and resource intensive to coordinate. With Care to Translate we take the patient and the tablet, walk into a room, and then we talk. 

Happy patients, happy staff

Since they started using the tool, both patients and staff are very happy that there is a new way to communicate. “The first thing we do is to inform the patient in their language that we are going to use the app to communicate. The reaction is usually that the are very happy to hear their language, and feel more safe since we have a communication platform straight away. The staff are very happy too that there is a way to communicate. 

Thank you Kjetil and Helse Møre & Romsdal. We are so happy to have you as customers and see that the tool makes such a difference in your daily work lives!

Learn more about Helse Møre & Romsdal

In this article in Dagens medisin (in Norwegian) you can read more about how they used Care to Translate during the instream of refugees from Ukraine

Or watch this webinar with Kjetil Bjørdal to hear more about their work with translation in the ER.

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