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Translation Phones Provide Interpreters To Break Down Language Barrier For Doctors, Patients

CBS New York—September 21, 2017

Communication is critical in health care – so if you don’t speak English but need medical care in New York City, how can you communicate with your doctor? In a CBS New York segment, HSS limb lengthening surgeon Austin T. Fragomen, MD and his patient, Lok-Sing Yau, demonstrated language translation phones available at HSS.

Dr. Fragomen and Yau, a Cantonese speaker, are able to communicate with each other by using LanguageLine Solution’s translation phones. The physician and patient speak into their individual handsets in their native languages, and hear the translation from a live, medically trained translator.

"Every problem that has really come up in healthcare has been a communication issue. If communication is not clear and accurate, it can be not only inconvenient but life-threatening," said Dr. Fragomen.

Bella Elogoodin, senior director of Language Services at HSS, said they prepare for translation from the patient’s first point of contact. "We get to ask them questions related to what is their preferred language, what is their preferred language for healthcare," said Elogoodin.

Anchor Max Gomez said patient Yau expressed these phones make it easier to understand his treatment.

Watch the full segment at newyork.cbslocal.com. This aired during the September 21, 2017 broadcast.


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