Device connects hearing impaired patients and doctors

Americas, August 11 2011

Albany, GA: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital now has a device that will help communication between their hearing impaired and Spanish-speaking patients.

Imagine you are a patient trying to communicate your needs to a doctor, but they can’t understand you. A new machine could fix that. The Language Line Rover puts patients and doctors in touch with an interpreter.

“The operator comes on and we share with the operator what we need whether it’s American sign, Mexican sign or the Spanish spoken language,” says Phyllis Bush, Director of Guest Services.

It’s a form of teleconferencing; doctor and patient are face to face with an interpreter.

They first got the idea from a hearing impaired patient who used the machine at a facility in Macon.

“He was sharing with the patient rep that information, how it just relieved his anxieties and all to have that available,” said Bush.

They now have three rovers and have been using them since April.

They do have interpreters on site, however the difference is the interpreters they connect to through this machine are actually certified in medical terminology.

“Complaint information, their medical history, you know, all of that is very important that we know that specifically and we’re not making an assumption about what we think that they may have meant or what we think they said,” said Emergency Center Director, Todd Braswell.

Breaking down communication barriers and making the patient feel more at home.

“It puts the patient at ease, just to know that we have this equipment and that they know they can communicate and they can be heard and they can be understood,” says Bush.

They also have a phone line that includes 170 languages and more languages will be added to the rover in time.


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