What are Helse Sør-Øst and Helse Midt gaining by implementing a medical translation app?

One year ago, two healthcare regions, covering in total seven Norwegian regions, entered into a framework agreement with Care to Translate to tear down language barriers in health care. This is what they’ve gained.

In 2023, two healthcare regions in Norway entered into a framework agreement to tear down language barriers between patients and healthcare professionals. The agreement referred to Care to Translate, a digital medical translator designed to enable communication in health care when no interpreter is available. 

So what are Helse Midt and Helse Sør-Øst (who procured the translation tool) gaining by implementing a translation app into their daily patient communication processes?

A medical translator for all healthcare areas

Care to Translate is a digital medical translation tool designed to enable communication between patients and healthcare professionals when no interpretation is available. 

Thanks to its large library of healthcare related phrases, the app can be used in all areas of care, for example in radiology and mammography, emergency and ambulance care, women's health, nursing care, anesthesia and postoperative care, vaccination, infection, dental care, and much more.

Medical translations in 45 languages, and counting

It’s hard to foresee what language needs you might have. Maybe you are aware of the most common languages encountered in your organization, but you can never know who will walk through your doors, and what language that person speaks. That’s why it’s so important to have as many of your language requirements met as possible. 

With Care to Translate, you can translate to and from 45 languages. And new languages are constantly added, in order to cover all of our customers' needs.

Are there languages you think we should add? Please reach out.

7 Norwegian regions are up and running

Multiple hospitals, clinics and municipalities already use the tool today in Norway. In Helse Sør-Øst, minimizing the risk of using machine translation was one of the factors when choosing the tool: 

“We know that Google Translate is often used for short clarifications and questions in hospitals, but we absolutely do not recommend it”, says Camilla Holt Hasle, project leader for the implementation of Care to Translate.

At the same time, the region could calculate large financial gains from using Care to Translate. In an evaluation report, four calculations on quantitative and financial gains are described. Read more about them here

Even though they are not part of the same framework agreement, Norwegian municipalities also have found their way to Care to Translate, benefitting from using the app in their organizations. In KAD, a 24-hour unit, Care to Translate makes it possible to communicate at all hours of the day.

“It would be impossible to have interpreters available for all of those interactions,” says Marit Teigen Hauge, assistant municipal chief medical officer in Molde kommune

13 Norwegian hospitals are already seeing results

From Helgeland Hospital to Sorlandet Hospital, Care to Translate is today being used in large parts of Norway. Kjetil Bjørdal, intensive nurse at Ålesund Hospital, shares their experiences of language barriers in emergency care and what positive effects they've seen from using Care to Translate:

“We initially started using Care to Translate to have a complement to phone interpreters. But the app worked so well, we have practically been able to replace phone interpreters with it, helping us to save around 20 000 EUR per year in our department.”

Learn more from the recorded webinar.

Motivated by the pressing need for a secure and reliable translation tool, Oslo University Hospital turned to Care to Translate in 2022, initiating the procurement process from the very beginning. Irene Lie, critical care nurse and senior researcher at OUS, spearheaded a pioneering research study to assess the efficacy of the medical translation app within the complex landscape of heart surgery patient care pathways.

"One nurse noted that 'Without the tool, I would not have been able to communicate with the patient at all'. It's moments like these that highlight the importance of effective communication in critical care," Lie recounts.

Today, the app is being used over 100 units and sections at the hospital, resulting in increased patient satisfaction, more efficient use of resources for the staff and more efficient use of interpreters:

“The app is very useful, and we get good feedback. Although different places in the hospital have different needs, we can use it all over.” says Mirka Reinholdt, nurse at the emergency department at Ullevål.

In 2024, one year after Helse Sør-Øst and Helse Midt began implementing the app, the first hospital in Helse Nord, another Norwegian health region, joined. Helgelandssykehuset started with a trial in their radiology department and, after two months of testing and observing significant benefits, they decided to extend the app's use to other departments.

So what are the gains?

From financial gains, such as being able to make savings on phone interpreters, to patient safety, from being able to communicate with patients who speak other languages - Care to Translate has been shown to support, comfort and make both healthcare professionals and patients feel safe in their communication. 

Learn more

Are you interested in how you can leverage the tool to tear down language barriers in your organization? Here are a few resources that might help you on your way. 

Are you working in Helse Midt and Helse Sør-Øst? Then you can call from the agreement! Contact us to learn how.

If you work in Helse Nord or Helse Vest and want to see how the tool can be tailored to your organization or region, book a demo meeting. We will show you how it works, what you can accomplish with the tool and what the benefits are from using it.