Creado por Patricia Pradolin, docente de Práctica de la Interpretación, Introducción a la Traducción y Orientación Profesional

lunes, 4 de junio de 2012

Now You're Speaking My Language: Interpreters in ER Limit Medical Errors

Recently published research shows that the availability of professional interpretation services greatly reduces the incidence of medical mistakes among non-English speaking emergency room patients.

June 03, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Open communication is essential in a doctor-patient relationship. Doctors need to be well-informed in order to make prudent treatment decisions, and patients have to be kept in the loop to remain active and effective participants in their own care.
But what happens when there's a language barrier in a medical situation? According to a new study, effectively bridging a language gap between doctors and patients can significantly reduce emergency room errors.
For Non-English Speaking Patients, Medical Errors Twice As Likely Without Professional Translation
The new report, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, followed conduct at two pediatric emergency rooms. Of the 57 primarily Spanish-speaking families seen in the emergency rooms during the period studied, 20 had help from a professional interpreter; ten had no translation help, and 27 had a non-professional or "ad hoc" interpreter (for instance, a family member or a bilingual member of the hospital staff).
Among those with access to a professional interpreter, 12 percent of translation errors -- like adding or omitting certain words or phrases -- could have had what the study's authors referred to as "clinical consequences" (Clinical consequences would include any mistake that could impact the patient's health, for instance, administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the correct medication).
Translation errors with the potential to cause real-world harm were almost twice as likely when there was no interpreter or when using an ad hoc interpreter: 20 to 22 percent of translation errors in this context posed a risk of clinical consequences.
Serious errors were least common when professional interpreters were well prepared for the task at hand, with 100 or more hours of training. Among interpreters that had been trained for 100 plus hours, just two percent of translation slips had the potential to cause harm; however, very few training programs for medical interpreters provide at least 100 hours of instruction.