As co-founder of Care to Translate, I am passionate about breaking down language barriers in healthcare. In emergency situations, communication is particularly crucial, and miscommunication due to language barriers can have severe consequences.
There have been some cases where translations gone wrong have had tragic consequences.
For instance, in the UK in 2021, a woman from Sudan with very little English proficiency died at the hospital after suffering a bleed post-birth. Due to language barriers the woman thought she was going "for a scan and to check on her health" and then "come back home", but in fact she was being sent to be induced. It was found the patient was "uninformed" about the reason for her admission and "consent to induce labor was not given". Because she was thin and small, staff underestimated how much relative blood volume she was losing but were unaware of that she was at greater risk during childbirth as she had undergone female genital mutilation as a girl.
Another example is In the Tran case, which occurred in the United States, a nine-year-old Vietnamese girl died from a severe reaction to Reglan. Her parents spoke limited English, and no competent interpreter was provided during the girl's hospitalization. This may have led to miscommunication and substandard care, contributing to the tragic outcome of the girl's death.
With the help of tools like Care to Translate, we can bridge the communication gap and ensure that patients receive the care they need.
At Care to Translate, we believe that everyone should have access to healthcare, regardless of their language proficiency. Our app helps healthcare professionals communicate with patients in over 40 languages, providing a crucial tool in emergency situations.
Research has shown that language barriers can have a significant impact on the quality of care that patients receive in emergency medical services. For example, studies have found that patients with limited English proficiency had a higher risk of adverse events (Wasserman et al., 2014) and longer hospital stays than patients (Lindholm et al., 2012) who spoke English fluently. Another study published in the Oman Medical Journal (2020) found that language barriers could lead to misunderstandings and delays in emergency care, as well as increased anxiety and frustration for both patients and healthcare providers.
Another study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health found that language barriers could lead to misunderstandings and delays in emergency care, as well as increased anxiety and frustration for both patients and healthcare providers.
This highlights the need for effective communication strategies and resources that can help ambulance staff overcome language barriers.
Technology can play a crucial role in breaking down language barriers in ambulance services.
Apps like Care to Translate provide quick and easy access to commonly used phrases in a variety of languages, allowing ambulance providers to communicate with patients more effectively.
Additionally, our app allows for the creation of custom playlists tailored to the specific needs of individual clinics or organizations. This can be particularly useful in ambulance services, where time to treatment is crucial and you need to be able to communicate instructions or ask important questions fast.
Through our work with ambulance services and other healthcare providers, we've seen firsthand the difference that effective communication can make.
By providing tools that enable better communication between patients and providers, we're helping to ensure that everyone receives the care they need, regardless of language or cultural background.
We know that there is still a long way to go to break down language barriers in healthcare. But we are committed to making a difference and ensuring that patients receive the care they need, no matter what language they speak.
If you want to know more about our product and how you could get started, please reach out. We are happy to provide you with a free demo of our app and services, as well as a free trial. Book a demo here
In summary, breaking down language barriers in healthcare is crucial to ensure that everyone receives the care they need. Technology, like the Care to Translate app, can play a crucial role in overcoming language barriers and improving communication in emergency situations.