Archive for January 27, 2009

Welcome to the inaugural post of viaLanguage’s new blog – Speaking Healthcare

At viaLanguage our mission is to facilitate clear communication. That’s our reason for being. As a translation and localization company, every day we help our clients to say what they mean.

It sounds simple, but as anyone who works with limited English proficient (LEP) communities knows, things can get complicated pretty quickly. And the consequences of failing to be understood can be enormous, even catastrophic.

This is perhaps nowhere more true than in the healthcare industry. Hospitals and healthcare plans have to be able to communicate with the public they serve, and in a culturally sensitive way. So much depends on it.

That’s how Speaking Healthcare was born. It seemed the perfect way for us to share the kinds of medical translation challenges our clients face — and some possible solutions for helping ensure that they, and you, send the right message, every time.

Look for new posts each week. So come on back.

Good health!
Chanin Ballance, CEO

Will OTC drugs and devices kill the traditional doctor visit?

I’ve run across a number of articles and blog posts of late that forecast a diminishing role for the doctor and his or her office in the healthcare mix. I suppose it’s not that surprising that as we address changing the healthcare system that new ideas and approaches will proliferate.

One example is put forth in the recent report put out by the California HealthCare Foundation. Among other predictions, it suggests that recent developments will take a big bite out of the traditional doctor visit. Patients will instead take advantage of the increasing availability of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and devices that test, monitor and treat medical conditions.

According to the report, consumers can already purchase more than 700 OTC medications whose ingredients and dosages were once only available by prescription. They can also test their cholesterol, monitor blood glucose, assess blood coagulation and even undergo kidney dialysis at home.

It sounds promising. But as the healthcare industry works hard to meet the healthcare translation needs of its ever-more diverse patient communities, we can only hope that all of the companies devoted to making care at home a reality are of the same mind. If not, these unique opportunities will remain out of reach for the growing number of limited English proficient (LEP) speakers.

Good health!