Tag Archive for Budget

Why Centralize Your Healthcare Translation Approach?

When it comes to translations, maintaining consistency and efficiency can be tricky, especially when organizations are managing multiple languages and multiple translation vendors. How can healthcare organizations ensure their brand is consistently translated from one language service provider to the next? And how can version control be maintained when there are numerous versions of documents living in multiple places at once?

The key to avoiding these issues is establishing a centralized translation process. While this may not be the solution for every organization, it may be the right step for larger organizations that are challenged with some of the following:

  • Supporting large volumes in one or more languages
  • Various types of healthcare content
  • Standardized healthcare preferences and terms
  • Private health information content
  • Meeting compliance regulations
  • Desire to improve quality management, reduce costs and minimize mistakes

If any of the above applies to your organization, it may be time to consider the idea of centralization. Centralizing enables fast, predictable turnaround of multilingual projects and delivers cost savings through the use of linguistic assets such as translation memories and technology tools. Centralization also saves time by allowing for a single record of all active and live documents that have been translated. It takes a bit of effort to get there, but it’s definitely worth your while. To read more about centralizing, and how it worked for a large California health System, click here.


Could this small incidental influence your medical translation costs?

One of the many benefits you derive by working with a seasoned language services provider (LSP) is access to their wealth of knowledge about translation, technology, and, if you choose well, your industry. The good ones apply that experience to help you achieve your communication goals, while keeping costs down.

Experience has taught us that cost-cutting opportunities can appear in the most unexpected places. Consider this: You likely don’t give much thought to the font you use in your print communications. But if they’re on their game, your LSP does. Why? Because that seemingly simple decision can impact the bottom line.

The reality is different fonts require different amounts of ink. For the typical drug or medical device manufacturer, for example, simply choosing Century Gothic over Arial could save the company thousands of dollars in ink and paper costs.

Printer.com recently conducted a test, pitting fonts against each other to find the “greenest” and most economical options. Arial, a very popular style, was used as a benchmark. The winner? Century Gothic took the top spot, using 30 percent less ink than Arial. Ecofont and Times Roman rounded out the top three. Check out the Printer.com link for the rankings and associated costs.

I understand that fonts are not directly related to medical translation. But they’re not unrelated either. The point is that your communications campaigns are composed of a multitude of choices, some as small as the font you use. It’s how you navigate those choices that makes all the difference.

Good health!

Telemedicine must incorporate healthcare translation for real access

It’s a challenging time to be in healthcare. Shrinking budgets, accelerated timelines and uncertainty about the future are daily realities. The upside is that a great many people are now discussing the issues and pursuing a solution.

In a recent white paper published in the online journal Telemedicine and e-Health, a group of U.S. medical experts makes the case that telemedicine (or e-health as it is also called) must be a cornerstone to any new healthcare system.

The argument put forth by the paper’s lead authors hinges on the assertion that telemedicine “offers significant opportunities to address the issues of inequities in access to care, cost containment and quality enhancement.”

As language service providers (LSPs), we are most concerned with the first of those issues: access. Today, too many patients are denied equal access because healthcare translation is overlooked or undervalued.

But according to the authors, telemedicine can improve access to all levels of healthcare and address the “prevailing inequities in access to care that reflect geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural disparities.”

No specific mention is made of healthcare translation needs. But I’m choosing to assume that the authors of this paper understand that real access, and therefore a real solution, starts with language.

Good health!



Cheers to Texas for saving an important CHIP bill

I just want to offer a word of praise and thanks to the Texas Senate, which recently rescued a jeopardized children’s healthcare bill. The expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) sought to move 80,000 uninsured children to a government-subsidized health insurance program. But the bill sat paralyzed as House Democrats worked on defeating a voter identification bill.

Thankfully, Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, attached the Senate version of the CHIP bill to a House bill on disease screening for newborns. The Averitt bill would raise the income limits for a family of four from $44,000 to $66,000 to buy in to the program, while limiting parents’ premiums, co-payments, and fees to 5 percent or below net family income.

The bill now returns to the House, which earlier this month passed a bill that expands the program to about $88,000 for a family of four. Because the federal government pays 72 cents of every dollar spent on CHIP, the hope is that the $43 million in state budget for CHIP will draw additional matching funds.

We also have to offer a thank you to all the child advocates, business groups, and doctors who worked hard to save the legislation last week. At a time when healthcare is in a state of flux, it’s inspiring to see such examples of dedication.

Good health!