Mount Sinai integrated Language Line and Caregility for delivering telemedicine to its wide and diverse patient population.
Telehealth visits increased exponentially at the time of the pandemic. The patients at Mount Sinai Health System with limited English Proficiency faced the disadvantage of receiving equal access. The language barrier is the reason here. Hence they have launched their Epic telehealth platform.
The Telehealth platforms were not having set up for LEP patients. The population of Mount Sinai in New York City is very diverse. The health system also requires the preparation for delivering healthcare in more than 200 languages.
According to Silvina de la Iglesia, their pool of in-house interpreters is very limited. They only cover a few languages. One of the most challenging problems that they are facing is not having interpretation service integration.
Each of the platforms has offered different capabilities for three-way communication. Hence, they need to explore which one works best for their patients. They have also picked the tackling with Epic/MyChart in the first place. Also, they are working in a partnership with their language vendor, Language Line Solution.
On this platform, an invitation for joining the encounter will get the push through an email or a real-time text message. This became possible while aligning the encounter with the staff interpreter.
Providers were usually calling the Language Line. They were placing the interpreter on the speakerphone or for the cell phone, holding in their hands with the hope that the video platform would pick up the sound. However, the experience was very frustrating for the providers and the patients. The audio quality was very poor, with lots of echoes and residual noise on the line.
The video vistas are having more increase in Mount Sinai. It is a great option for patients who do not want to come to the office. They can also access through the mobile app or with the computer webcam.
Mount Sinai has turned to the health IT vendor Caregility for help. It has also offered them the option for the provider to dial a number to the Language Line. At the same time, it will have an external vendor for joining the video visit along with the audio.
Language Line has 14000 interpretations for more than 200 languages that are operating 24×7. Caregility has offered the option for the providers to initiate the encounter on the telehealth platform. They can dial the toll-free number to connect with the Language Line.
The IT system of Mount Sinai and Language Line and Caregility is working together to help the patients with suitable languages. Mount Sinai has successfully implemented this solution. More than 600 telemedicine encounters have taken place with the Add Interpreter button.