Archive for February 26, 2010

Among the myriad challenges facing the healthcare industry is the mounting costs of healthcare illiteracy. Today, some 78 million Americans do not possess the requisite English skills to understand healthcare information enough to make informed choices. The results are costly in more ways than one.

Aside from the obvious health risks it poses for a growing number of limited English proficient (LEP) patients, it brings with it an economic impact that has reached approximately $73 million annually. These costs must then be absorbed by public agencies, healthcare providers, and U.S. taxpayers that are already challenged.

So what is to be done? For many, it’s a question that must be answered sooner than later. As part of our free healthcare translation webinar series at viaLanguage, we are offering an installment that directly addresses this issue. Titled “Bridging the Healthcare Literacy Language Gap—Key Strategies for 2010,” the webinar will take place 11:30 a.m. (PT) on March 25 and will explore a range of strategies for responding to today’s changing and uncertain healthcare climate.

This is a situation that ultimately impacts us all. We hope you can join us. Click here to learn more.

Good health!

5 tips to help you create an effective YouTube channel

Last week we explored how health care, and particularly pharma, is attempting to use YouTube to reach its audiences. As noted, most unfortunately rely on a, as Mark Senak called it in his blog Eye on FDA, a “if you build it, they will come” approach that fails to demonstrate company buy-in and so falls short when it comes to attracting an audience.

Here, then, are a few tips for creating an effective YouTube channel:

Identify your audience.
This will depend on the nature of your organization and who you want the channel to reach. Possibilities include patients, doctors, prospective employees, investors, etc.

Establish connections.
Follow, subscribe to, and participate with other channels. Let third parties embed your video so it can be shared and seen, which should, after all, be your goal.

Drive traffic.
Treat your channel the way you do your website. Include the link in signature lines on emails, add it collateral, promote it on your website and at conferences and industry events. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account, alert those communities when a new video goes up.

Provide worthwhile content.
What does your audience want to see or learn about? Take that as your mission. A channel that is merely a repository of all of your video assets is unlikely to gain any traction.

Build community
Many health care channels ignore the commentary and ratings functionality on YouTube. This is unfortunate as you want to create both authenticity and community around your channel, goals made all the more difficult by not giving viewers a chance to participate.

Video is an increasingly popular way to tell your story, and YouTube is a fantastic venue for reaching your audience. Do it well and it could prove a useful, powerful resource in your multicultural marketing toolkit.

Good health!

viaLanguage announces partnership to benefit sales teams

As we regularly explore on this blog, getting access to quality, up-to-date localized content can be a challenge, not to mention costly. At viaLanguage, we are always looking for ways to smooth the process so as to help our clients better meet the needs of those they serve.

So, we were excited this week to take a great step in that direction with the announcement of a new partnership with Prolifiq. Devoted to helping sales professionals use digital content in their communications, Prolifiq will work with viaLanguage to do the following

1. Reduce the time for translated content to reach the hands of global sales professionals.
2. Provide critical measurements of how localized assets accelerate the sales cycle.

A feature of that partnership will include combining our Online Language System (OLS) with Prolifiq’s Content Performance Index (CPI), which provides companies with the data to know which translated content resonates with local sales teams and customers. This will speed turnaround time and help us deliver skilled translations for each solution needed.

Our set of online translation and localization services is designed to meet the needs of today’s accelerated, cross-cultural business environment, and the way we look at it working with Prolifiq is a perfect complement to that goal.

To learn more about the partnership with Prolifiq, take a look at our Feb. 8 announcement.  You can learn more about Prolifiq at their website:

Cultural competence is critical to more than just medical translations…

Especially when there’s a $133 million advertising campaign at stake! In preparation for the 2010 census taking place this spring, the U.S. Census Bureau is spreading awareness by launching culturally adapted print, radio and television ads in over 28 languages. Not wanting to miss the mark and make a costly mistake, the Census Bureau also conducted over 61 multilingual field studies to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of their translated questionnaires.

A large focus of the campaign will be the increasingly diverse Latino audience, which is the fastest growing population in the nation.  Strategies range from comedic commercials to ads on heavily-frequented radio stations, but they are careful to not assume a “one-size-fits-all” mentality. Not only are there regional differences, but generational as well; many are bilingual second and third-generation Latinos.

It will be exciting to see the stats of our richly diverse country in early 2011, and even more so to see how this will shape our language access programs!

Leslie Iburg

How mobile phones are changing the way health care providers operate

As we explored last week, the addition of Tweets to the search results for popular search engines like Bing and Google can pose new reputation management challenges for health care providers. While patients have always shared their feelings, today that network is global in scope, while the speed with which those feelings travel is now clocked in nanoseconds.

But that is really only half the story. Health care providers must bear in mind that patients can quickly and easily post to Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites directly from their mobile phone. That means they are able to share their feelings—as well as pictures and video—right from your waiting room, exam room, or hospital bed.

As health care seeks itself to leverage the opportunities ushered in by these new technologies, it must be understood that patients are doing the same. So, part of the quality promise made to patients must include the patient experience. For example, is the waiting room comfortable and clean? Is the office staff helpful and responsive? Is there an established protocol to quickly resolve problems?

These things have always been priorities for health care providers. But today, given the ease and immediacy of communication, failure on these counts can trigger far greater results than ever before. Coupled with a provider’s own strategic online communication efforts, this should help ensure a positive experience for patients. And they’ll Tweet about that, too.

Good health!