3 Tremendous Benefits of Phone Interpretation Services for Pharmacies

Business, Clinical Trials Translation, Language, Medical

As the U.S. becomes increasingly diverse, businesses must consider how they can serve a customer base that speaks a wide variety of languages. This is especially true for pharmacies and other medical facilities. Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) have a legal right to access health care in their preferred language, but hiring bilingual employees is not always feasible. Phone interpretation services are a quick and easy alternative solution to this challenge.

Beyond the obvious benefits to customers with LEP, phone interpreters benefit all pharmacy customers as well. At a busy pharmacy, language barriers can cause long lines, customer confusion, and significant risks to patients. Of course, any risk to a patient is a risk to the pharmacy and its reputation as well. 

So, let’s look at how on-demand phone interpretation services can solve these problems and provide pharmacies with innovative ways to serve customers.

1. Understanding the Dosage

Prescription drugs can be difficult to get right. Many drugs have powerful side effects, which can be mitigated by taking the drug in a particular way (e.g., with food, before bed, with a full glass of water, etc.). Also, in some cases, taking a drug the wrong way could cause lasting harm to the patient. Pharmacists must be able to ask the right questions to assist the patient in understanding the correct dosage and how to take it. 

What could go wrong? Well, without an interpreter, confusion about certain words can endanger patients. To give one simple example, in English, “once” means one time, but in Spanish, “once” is the word for the number 11. Clearly, miscommunication can be dangerous, even fatal. Taking 11 pills, when the proper dosage is one can cause a serious medical issue.

The bottom line: Working with an interpreter who understands medical information and pharmaceuticals can be a tremendous help when pharmacists need to communicate with non-English speaking patients. When you take the time to ensure all patients know the right dosage and how to take the drug, you reduce risks both for patients and for yourself.

2. Understanding Insurance

In addition to having a hard time understanding the proper dosage, customers and patients with limited English proficiency also may have trouble understanding their insurance. No one likes going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and being slapped with a shocking price tag. 

In many cases, these types of situations can be remedied with a simple call to the insurance company. Many pharmacies can make the call for their customers. However, without an interpreter, it is neither easy to explain to a patient what information you need nor to relay the information back and forth. This is especially difficult when dealing with a patient who may be suffering and in desperate need of the medication.

The bottom line: Phone interpretation services for pharmacies can be a literal lifesaver in cases where a patient or customer needs to contact their insurance company. They can also save your bilingual employees time and this can make a big difference to revenues during peak hours. Consider how much money you lose if an employee spends 30 minutes straightening out an insurance issue with each non-English speaking customer, rather than filling prescriptions or helping other customers.

3. Understanding Your Customer

Yes, phone interpretation can make the lives of your customers easier and protect them from harm, but we cannot fail to mention another key benefit for pharmacy owners. Making these services available goes a long way toward showing customers that you care and a customer who feels understood will become a repeat customer. 

There is no doubt many patients will go out of their way for a pharmacy with exceptional customer service. What this means for you is that once you begin offering pharmacy phone interpretation, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a substantial increase in customers with limited English proficiency. Word will get around and ultimately, this will be great for business.

The bottom line: When you offer on-demand phone interpreting services and train your employees in best practices for communicating through a medical interpreter, your customers will take note and tell their friends. 

How does it work?

On-demand phone Interpretation provides pharmacies with on-demand access to professional interpreters, 24/7/365 in more than 100 languages. Using interpreters who are trained to be culturally sensitive and professional, pharmacy personnel can directly support customers speaking with them in the language they understand best—their own. 

Within seconds, your customers and personnel can call to connect with a trained interpreter who will help them communicate clearly and concisely. Whether you currently have bilingual staff resources or not, phone interpretation services can help carry the load and support languages you never anticipated. 

During busy store hours, you may end up with LEP customers waiting in long lines to talk with your one or two Spanish-speaking employees. This is not a good look. In addition, how often does someone come in whose first language is much less commonly spoken? If it happens even once, you risk losing the customer or worse.

With DTS Language Services, Inc., you never have to worry about leaving your customers feeling vulnerable. Our 4,000 team members based all around the globe provide pharmacy phone interpretation services for over 100 languages including:

  • English (US)
  • English (UK)
  • French (Canadian)
  • French (European)
  • Italian
  • German
  • Spanish (Latin American)
  • Spanish (European)
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Portuguese (European)
  • Korean

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a pharmacy phone interpretation service available for customers with limited English proficiency. We know you care about enhancing the customer experience at your pharmacy. Now it’s time to walk the walk by setting up your account. You can get started by filling out the form at the bottom of this information page or contacting us directly to talk to one of our friendly staff. Start reaping the benefits right away!