Medical document translation may be one of the most important aspects of your work with patients. You rely on their records to provide you with a picture of their current state of health so that you can accurately prescribe medications and treatments. If you work with a population with limited English skills, it might be tempting to hire a bilingual layperson to interpret their records, but this is a false economy that can cost you in time and resources later on.
Why Hire a Medical Translator?
Medical documents have specific terminology that the everyday interpreter may not recognize or understand, and you couldn't expect them to accurately translate these words if they don't have the background knowledge to do so.
Think of it this way - would you hire a nurse for your clinic, hospital, or agency who didn't understand how to interpret vital signs or patient records? The answer is obviously "no", as you would be concerned that he or she might make an error that could result in injury or harm to your patients.
The same principle applies to translation - if you work with someone who doesn't innately understand what you do, then you will struggle to work with patients who do not speak English well, and you won't be able to provide them with the level of care they deserve.
Imagine that a cardiology patient is a new immigrant to your area and brings you a set of medical records in Arabic. However, he or she cannot adequately explain their complicated treatment history in English. Hiring a specialist medical translator to interpret their documents will help you understand your patient's background and develop an appropriate plan. The translator can also help you with ongoing treatment by providing interpretation services in person, over the phone, or even via Skype.
Choose a Translation Agency You Can Trust
When it comes to medical document translation, don't go for the first service you can find simply because it's easier. Allocating resources to find a certified interpreter you can trust will pay dividends over time, and a reputable agency will be able to put you in touch with certified medical professionals who can accurately translate your documents and offer an ongoing interpretation.
InWhatLanguage tests their medical translators and interpreters to make sure that they truly understand the terminology related to their field, whether that's primary care, pharmacology, toxicology, and beyond.