Hospitals turning to medical interpreter hot lines

DALLAS (AP) - Telephone interpreters at Parkland Memorial
Hospital are a growing effort to connect with patients in their own
language throughout the hospital.
On-the-spot interpreters are accessible through about 1,000
cordless, headset and dual-handset devices at Dallas County's
general hospital. They bridge language barriers that could keep
more and more non-English-speaking patients from getting an
accurate diagnosis or proper medical attention.
Nationwide, the Census Bureau estimates 24 million people over
the age of 5 speak no or limited English, making it likely many
will need language services when they get sick.
Parkland's phones are a response to a 40 percent increase in
demand for interpretation services at Parkland over the past two
years. There are at least 77 languages, including Spanish,
Vietnamese, Korean and Arabic.

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