Telephones on a Pole Increase Medical Interpreter Use

07 Sep 2011

St. Elizabeth's has increased telephonic interpretation by increasing access to phones.  St. E's implemented telephones on a pole--called an IPOP-which makes it easier for clinicians to access phones.  In addition, this easier access frees up interpreter time for face-to-face encounters during clinical procedures (such as cardiac catherization) where face-to-face interpreting may be more desirable and patient centered and where these encounters tend to take longer periods of time.  In addition, the IPOP system allows for rapid access of interpreters.  For example, it takes 20 minutes for an interpreter to get to a patient, but if a nurse uses IPOP to assess a patient's pain level, assessment is done within 3 minutes--patient gets pain medication 17 minutes earlier.  Both patients and nurses are satisfied with this new system.

St. E's has seen an increase in interpreting services overall for both face-to-face interpretation and telephonic interpretation.  Telephonic interpretation has doubled and face-to-face interpretation has increased by 34%.