Moffitt Cancer Center Offers Patients Greater Language Access Services through On-Demand Video Technology

March 05, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. Moffitt Cancer Center is utilizing on-demand video technology to provide patients with more effective interpretation services.

As a world-class cancer hospital, Moffitt sees patients from around the globe. The Language Services Department works to improve access to high-quality care for patients with diverse language and communication needs. The department is staffed with live interpreters who are available to bridge the communication gap between patients and their healthcare providers in Spanish and American Sign Language. Additionally, it offers supplemental video and telephone interpreting services to provide culturally competent interpretation services to all patients regardless of the language they speak.

Moffitt has eight certified medical interpreters in Spanish and one American Sign Language qualified interpreter. The team also utilizes the latest advances in technology such as telephonic and video interpreting to provide access in over 180 languages and dialects 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to an increase in non-English-speaking patients, Moffitt increased access to tablet technology to help patients communicate better with their treatment team.

“When a patient is in an environment without language barriers, they understand their treatment plan better and they can make better informed decisions about their care. Communication between the patient, doctors, and nurses is critical. Moffitt’s responsiveness to the needs of these populations can serve as an example to other healthcare institutions, particularly cancer centers, in building critical structures and strategies that meet the language and communication needs of the populations they serve,” explained Prado Antolino, language services manager at Moffitt.

Video interpreting is offered by a company called Stratus Video  via an iPad application. Stratus Video currently offers video interpreting services in 11 languages. Moffitt began using iPad technology to enhance services to their deaf and/or hard-of-hearing patients.

Within the last year, Moffitt’s language access services for deaf and/or hard-of-hearing patients increased by 950 percent. As a result of this increase, staff training on how to work with this population increased as well, and protocols for contacting emergency American Sign Language interpreters after hours or in the middle of the night were enhanced.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact in Florida of nearly $1.6 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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