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Video Translators Make Patient Communication Easier at Florida Hospital

Rolling video conference systems bring dozens of languages, including Spanish and Mandarin, to patients' bedsides.

6/23/2017  |  By Florida Hospital Media Relations

Ask almost anyone at Florida Hospital about the old "blue phones" and they'll immediately know what you mean.

For years, if there was a language barrier between a patient and a physician or nurse, the hospital turned to the clunky devices to help translate their words.

Not anymore. Instead, Florida Hospital is now using iPads affixed to mobile stands and the Stratus Video program to allow patients to actually see a translator speaking to them, instead of just hearing words over a phone line.

Nurse Dana Straub and her colleagues were "shouting for joy" as they said goodbye to the old-fashioned blue phones and made way for the modern devices.

"This is going to be completely different," Straub said. "The face-to-face interaction is going to be a lot more personal."

That added level of personal touch is key, as some patients are more comfortable discussing their health with someone they can actually see and hear.

Two hundred of the iPads recently debuted at Florida Hospital facilities around Central Florida.

The service offers a couple dozen languages on video mode and more than 200 in audio-only mode, including Portuguese, Arabic and Hindi.

"We care for patients from around the world, and it's important that we are able to communicate with them clearly. The visual component that the Stratus iPads use, not only increases both the patients and the providers comfort level and satisfaction, but it also facilitates clear communication that supports high quality outcomes," said Patty Jo Toor, vice president and chief nursing officer at Florida Hospital Celebration Health.