//Managed Solutions for Hospital Interpreting Departments

How many language providers do you have to work with, call, monitor and pay on a weekly basis? A recent prospect I was working with told me in our initial meeting, “I have 29 staff interpreters and I work with 10 outside vendors to meet the needs of our LEP patients.” This was mind blowing to me!

Her department receives over 5,000 LEP (interpreting) encounters a month. Currently her facility has a team of 29 interpreters, which are only able to support half of the need, for the remainder encounters the facility relies on the support of outside vendors. As I sat and let the wheels in my head turn about what a day, week or month looks like for her in terms of scheduling, monitoring and compliance I felt very overwhelmed.

We continued to talk, I was learning more and more about her facilities, workflow, requirements and management. During the conversation she relayed several very strong messages, however the ones I heard loud and clear from her were;

– I get lost in the management of everything, I cannot focus on what I truly need to focus on which is patient care.
– The compliance control and monitoring of these resources is too much.
– The invoices – it takes me endless hours to monitor and pay them.

As a vendor our approach used to be become one of those 10 vendors she calls on a daily basis to help support her needs, push her qualified interpreters as she needs them. In brainstorming and development meetings we wanted to find a solution for taking the vendor/client relationship to a client/vendor partnership. Our goal was being able to present a solution of working together to bring staff efficiencies, cost control and most important compliance management to their LEP departments.

What does it look like and how did we get to a Managed Care Solution? In order to avoid being just another vendor pushing interpreters as a customer needs them we have to be allowed to take an in-depth look at how a facility or facilities are functioning today, what is the patient demographics, culture within the hospital around interpreting services, LEP demands and overall spend. From this analysis new processes and modes of interpreting are introduced to the facility management staff. You are thinking, there is no way I can communicate such a large program and create change in our environment. The change is gradual, each month over a 12 month period different processes and communications are done to make the Managed Care Solution flow much smoother, showing the customer gradual changes in improved efficiencies, reduction in management time and cost control.

The ultimate benefit of the Managed Care Solution is this… one vendor, one bill, one partner!