|3 Min. Read||Veronica Pastuch||September 27, 2021|
Populations with limited English proficiencies (LEP) in metropolitan areas are skyrocketing across the US, making up 8% of 52 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Compared to their rural counterparts, healthcare providers located in urban areas are four times more likely to serve patients that are not native English speakers. With increasingly diverse populations composed mainly of Hispanic (49%) and Asian (57%) patients, many healthcare facilities face growing language barriers within their communities.
To counteract the increasing language barriers and promote inclusion, the United States has enforced proper implementation of Language Assistance Programs (LAPs), beginning with hospital and healthcare websites.
“To avoid violating Title VI, recipient/covered entities must ensure they provide LEP persons meaningful opportunity to participate in their programs, services, and benefits … the law requires that recipient/covered entities provide oral and written language assistance at no cost to the LEP person…”
Through Title VI, the US made website translation for the healthcare industry a necessity. Since websites are utilized as first-touch points to offer vital information to patients in distress, hospitals are encouraged to have translation services online as part of their programs. This extends to essential features, like translated patient portals for seamless access to medical records and treatment options.
Offering translated web content serves a greater purpose than just meeting Title VI requirements—it also attracts more patients, guaranteeing a competitive edge against providers who aren’t as quick to offer translation. Given the choice between two similar products or services from different providers, 76% of consumers will gravitate toward the option that features information in their preferred language; this tendency rises to 89% for consumers who have a lower fluency in English.
These numbers highlight the need marketing professionals have for translating their website content, but many hospitals have difficulty deciding what to translate while implementing a cost-effective, scalable strategy.
The best way to begin the healthcare translation journey is to identify your patient community. Each organization is unique and serves different patient populations; your in-language goals should reflect the needs of that community. For example, a large hospital serving a diverse LEP population may want to implement a fully translated multilingual website, while a facility with a small concentration of LEP patients may only translate patient portals and essential landing pages in a couple of languages.
When it comes to creating and incorporating your translations, think about the various solutions that exist. Outsourcing to human translators is a common method, as they understand and portray the nuances of subtle cultural, linguistic, and semantic language differences. However, human translation by itself is hard to scale.
Machine translation solutions, like Google Translate, are scalable and cost-effective, but lack accuracy and can lead to misinterpretation of key information. Additionally, they don't have security protocols, increasing the risk of HIPPA, HITECH, and PII compliance violations.
The best solutions can balance the true cost of translation-TIME and LABOR, by leveraging both technology and human translation. This mitigates the challenge of micromanaging a translation process and helps lower costs while providing accurate translation for medical terminology.
Our unique combination of human translators, reverse proxy technology, APIs, and connectors help us provide seamlessly translated websites in as little as 30 days, all but eliminating the strain on your marketing team.
Preserve your website’s design and functionality while bridging the gap between your patients’ preferred language and your services.
To learn more, schedule a conversation today.