Healthcare Translations

The healthcare industry has become one of the most rapidly-changing, highly regulated, and prominent industries in today's business environment. The diverse makeup of patients and healthcare workers, along with the range of state and federal regulations and services, make healthcare translation a very complex and exacting field. LanguageSpeak has over 20 years of experience working with insurance companies, hospitals, medical facilities, and other healthcare organizations. We can put our expertise to work in assisting you with any healthcare related translation projects.

Regulations in the Medical Industry

Healthcare and medical translation is governed by strict industry standards and protocol. Companies must comply with a series of formal legal guidelines that regulate all records, files, and paperwork. Each of the 50 states now have laws that address the issue of language access in healthcare settings, and some states have enacted language access laws specifically addressing translation for insurance providers and managed care organizations. LanguageSpeak is fully versed in all of these regulatory requirements including HIPAA Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, HITECH, CMS, Joint Commission, California SB 853, and CLAS.  As a result of our extensive experience, not only are our translations precise, but they meet any and all regulatory requirements.

Consequences of Flawed Healthcare Translations

A flawed medical translation can lead to not only lack of legal compliance and potential liability, but also the confusion or delay of the diffusion of critical information that can impact productivity and patient care. For example, in 1980, a comatose patient was admitted to a hospital where his Spanish-speaking friends and family attempted to communicate his condition with a bilingual hospital staff member as an interpreter. This staff member mistakenly translated “intoxicado” as “intoxicated” instead of the more accurate “poisoned” and the patient was treated as if he was experiencing an intentional alcohol overdose when he was actually suffering from the much more serious condition of an intracerebral hemorrhage. Because of this small mistranslation, the patient was left quadriplegic and received a malpractice settlement of $71 million.

In another example, a patient was initially denied life insurance because the medical records (in German) indicated a severe pre-existing cardiac issue.  When Languagespeak translators were brought in for a review and second opinion, it turned out that the records were mistranslated and the patient was “negative” for any cardiac issues.  

Why LanguageSpeak?

Aside from our knowledgeable and experienced medical translators, LanguageSpeak also provides interpreters for hospitals, private practices, and other medical settings when there is a need for clear communication between patient and healthcare provider.   Furthermore, we work with physician-consultants during our three-step translation process to ensure the consistent quality and accuracy of all of our translations. Our work with prominent healthcare and insurance providers such as Humana, Voya (formerly ING), MetLife, Miami Children’s Hospital, and many others, illustrates our decades-long record of providing expert medical translations, and our commitment to breaking down language access barriers for all patients, regardless of their native tongue. We also provide all of our medical translators with the following:

  • An extensive healthcare glossary of terms in the relevant languages.
  • Access to our proprietary translation memory software.
  • Expert DTP to guarantee that we maintain the exact integrity of your documents.

Regardless of the type of text we are translating, LanguageSpeak employees always maintain a strict adherence to confidentiality and all regulatory requirements, and go the extra mile to work with our clients’ needs in mind.