TORONTO (April 3) - North York General Hospital (NYGH) is introducing a new, virtual medical language interpretation service that will better help our diverse patient population navigate their care journey.
The service—provided by the technology company Voyce Canada—provides on-demand access to over 240 languages and dialects any time of day, seven days a week, often in less than 30 seconds.
Voyce technology complies with Canadian privacy laws and is accessed through an app or website that connects with qualified medical language interpreters who are specifically trained to ensure interpretation accuracy and efficiency for healthcare settings.
“The service connects patients to the care they need when they need it regardless of what language they speak,” says Karen Allentoff, Interim Clinical Team Manager of NYGH’s Emergency Services Program. “For example, if a family whose first language is Sudanese Arabic comes into our Emergency Department, the triage nurse can find a Sudanese Arabic-speaking medical interpreter very quickly and have interpretation ready and available.”
Some of the many other supported languages include American Sign Language Trilingual (Spanish-English-ASL), Certified Deaf (ASL CDIs), and Quebec Sign-Language (QSL) Interpretation.
“Using Voyce across all NYGH sites will help break barriers for our patients and community members who feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English,” says Janelle Benjamin, Manager, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at NYGH. “Being able to access a vast range of languages and dialects on demand is another way we are advancing our commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and ensuring every person who comes to NYGH for care can access the resources and supports they need to be well.”
The Voyce medical interpretation service will be in addition to the current phone-interpretation service and in-person services NYGH currently offers.
“When a patient enters the walls of a hospital without speaking the local language, they are often at their most vulnerable state. Voyce provides a bridge to their culture, helps relieve anxiety and gives patients the confidence to express what ails them in their own words, with their own voice,” says Andrew Royce, CEO of Voyce. “We are thrilled to partner with North York General Hospital to infuse our technology into this community of care as we are doing around the world."
People can access Voyce and other interpretation services at NYGH by informing their health care provider, while advanced notice is required for in-person interpretation services. For more information see nygh.on.ca/interpretation.
North York General
NYGH is a top-ranked academic community hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto that provides high-quality acute, ambulatory and long-term care to approximately half a million people in one of Toronto’s most diverse and rapidly growing areas. Approximately 59% of residents living in the neighbourhoods NYGH serves do not use English as their primary language.
Voyce is a technology driven company deeply committed to helping people in need that are facing language barriers, enabling them to easily and quickly communicate and get the help they need. Voyce’s professional and qualified language interpreters provide interpretation across a variety of technology and telehealth platforms in 240 languages and dialects, including American Sign Language. Across the U.S., Canada, U.K., and globally, Voyce supports thousands of sessions a day, providing language assistance to those in need. Learn more at voyceglobal.com and follow Voyce on LinkedIn.
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