International Medical Interpreters Association Releases Telephone Interpreting Guide
"Telephone interpreting is used by countless hospitals and health care facilities throughout the world," explained Izabel Arocha, IMIA president, "Our goal is to help our members and the public at large to learn more about this important method of delivering language access to patients across the globe."
The phone-based interpreting service, which enables interpreters for hundreds of languages to be instantly accessible via telephone, was first introduced in Australia in the 1970s, but is now used in the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Israel and many other countries, Arocha said.
To develop the guide, the association enlisted Nataly Kelly, the author of the first book on telephone interpreting. "In the United States alone, the business of telephone interpreting generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually, while saving millions of dollars in travel costs," commented Kelly, an analyst with Common Sense Advisory, an independent market research firm. "Patient advocates, health care professionals and policymakers can only stand to benefit from learning more about this critical component of providing health care services to diverse patient groups."
A free copy of the guide can be downloaded here.
International Medical Interpreters Association
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