Education improves engagement of phone interpreters

23/Jan/2019     Education

Mater has an increasing culturally and linguistically diverse patient cohort and provides approximately 18 000 occasions of interpreting services each year for patients with limited English proficiency.

To improve access to and raise awareness of the availability of professional interpreters at short notice 24/7, the Cultural Diversity Unit and Mater Education team have been working with staff as part of the Inter-professional Clinical Orientation Program (ICOP).

The ICOP education team have created a program that asks volunteer participants to play the role of the clinician and the patient with limited English proficiency.

The aim is to increase confidence and competence in staff in their ability to contact the phone interpreter service on demand. During the program, participants conduct a live phone interpreter session followed by a robust debrief in process, protocol and considerations.  

Over the two and a half years this program has been running, there has been a 60% increase of phone interpreter calls made, improving the overall patient experience and their health outcomes.

Year                    Occasions of service
2015-2016  3037
2016-2017 4305
2017-2018 5085

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