June 13, 2008

Language translation service updated

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Mark Wallace, Ph.D.

Language translation service updated

Vanderbilt Medical Center's Interpretive Services Department has on-staff Arabic and Spanish interpreters, but for other languages or after-hours needs, staff and faculty use a telephone interpretive service.

Beginning July 1, the vendor providing that service will change, meaning that any Vanderbilt employee wishing to use the telephone interpretive service will need to call a different number.

“After June 30, the old number will not work,” said Terrell Smith, director of Patient and Family Centered Care for Vanderbilt University Hospital and The Vanderbilt Clinic. “Everybody who deals with patients needs a new badge tag with the new number.”

The new vendor is Florida-based Optimal Phone Interpreters. The new number is (877) 746-4674.

Staff or faculty members will be asked what language they need, specify whether the patient is adult or pediatric, and tell what department and patient care area they are calling from.

“Optimal Phone Interpreters is medically based, providing credentialed interpreters [who] are HIPAA-compliant and insured for accuracy, code of conduct and compliance to interpret in the first person without bias or influence,” said Johannie Resto, manager of Interpretive Services.

“We selected Optimal as our phone interpreter provider because they embodied our continued advancement of services to families and improved workflow for staff,” said Lee Ann Parker, director of operations for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The service provides interpreters for more than 200 languages. While Spanish and Arabic are the most common interpretive needs at VMC, others, such as Somali, Vietnamese, Farsi and Korean are also common, according to statistics provided by Interpretive Services.

For patients and families who want to call Vanderbilt and have an interpreter already on the line, Optimal has also provided a dedicated line for VMC at (866) 675-2040.