Language Line contributes to safe, quality care

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 9:00am

Nicole Spencer, booking and registration clerk in the Infectious Disease Clinic, has used the Language Line phone interpretation service a few times to communicate with patients who didn’t speak or understand English.

She remembers using the Language Line to let a patient know the doctor wanted her to go for blood work before coming in for an appointment. “Three of us – the patient, the interpreter and I – were on the phone at the same time and were able to let the patient know what she needed to do,” says Nicole.

Through Language Line, health professionals like Nicole can access immediate interpretation service in more than 170 languages. “It’s a really good system, very beneficial for people to use,” says Nicole. “I would definitely use it again.”

Providing access to interpretation services is an important part of providing safe, quality people-centred care. It is also in keeping with the province’s cultural competence guidelines.