Language Access for Christopher House

Imagine trying to ask a doctor about your prognosis, or make funeral arrangements with a social worker when you cannot hear, or speak the same language. Interpretation is essential for such patients, and seeing the interpreter can make all the difference.

At Hospice Austin, our patients are facing the final months of a serious illness. To improve communication about urgent and highly personal concerns, we are transitioning from telephone interpretation services to a language access cart with a video service much like FaceTime or Skype.

A language access cart is a medical grade stand on wheels that holds a tablet, such as an iPad. The tablet has software that connects patients with interpreters though video calls. The cart is portable so that staff can roll it into different types of spaces. This relatively simple tool is pretty awesome because it allows a fast and secure visual connection to an interpreter.

Through this project, Hospice Austin will purchase a language access cart, orient staff, and begin using video interpretation. Better communication will help us manage patients’ symptoms, reduce fears, and make families’ last few months—or hours—together as peaceful as possible.

Funded by Austin, TX (November 2018)