/, Interpreting/Why is managing interpreting services such a struggle?

When I first started prospecting a new client a couple of years ago I asked her “What is your biggest challenge with your Interpreting Department?” Her reply was, I have never purchased or managed a service in my career that takes more of my time than Interpreting Services, working with so many vendors, risk liability, compliance, and the overall hassles that come with multiple vendors. I then asked her why do you believe this is such a struggle, hoping she would tell me how bad the vendors are, her reply, because there is not one vendor that can handle all of our volume, control quality, prepares interpreters properly and that comes to the table to be a partner with us.

As I drove back to the office, thinking the whole way back, how do I take this struggle away for her? How do I keep from being just another vendor that cannot take care of her and her patients like the other vendors? And the bigger question “What can I do to change her perception of the industry?” As I did my recap with our CEO at the end of the day, I said to her this is going to become my new passion, I want to take our clients perception of us and the industry to a new level. My conversations continued with our current clients as well as new prospects, continuing to ask the same question, “What is your biggest challenge?” The answers varied, some the same, however the root message I got was the same, we want a vendor that can take care of all of our business, on-site, video, translation and over the phone interpreting while allowing us to take care of the patient.

It makes sense! The more business the facility does with one vendor the more it is a win-win for you and the vendor; you (the facility) get economies of scale and efficiencies, as for us (the vendor) we can offer our complete suite of services, we are no longer worried about offering new modes of interpreting for fear of the business going to a competitor and we build a partnership with the facility. Why had we not done this sooner? Having the ability to create customized programs for a single facility or an entire hospital system is something we could do to start down the road of being a sole provider, one vendor for the Interpreting Department Manager to work with or as our CEO likes to say “One throat to choke”.

As we began our internal and external brainstorming sessions with co-workers, interpreters and customers, all kinds of ideas started flowing. Scheduling efficiencies, cost reductions, whichever the goal, what kept coming to the top was Compliance Control! How simple it could be for a department manager to work with one vendor to ensure the compliance of their program and facility. After two years of time studies, client data analysis, internal data analysis and trial programs we developed “Managed Care Solutions”!

This program allows customers to work with one vendor in order to handle all of their Limited English Proficiency (LEP) needs. The program brings facility and vendor together to create cost effective, time efficiencies and compliant process and services allowing the department manager to focus on what they truly need to focus on and that is Quality Patient Care.