Detailed Problem Description: LP has served as MPHC’s primary provider for interpreting and translation services since 2013. Initially, the demand for language access was minimal, with a limited number of MPHC’s patients requiring interpreting services. The main languages provided were Arabic, French, and Somali. Although Maine remains one of the least racially diverse states in the U.S., there has been a marked increase in diversity over the years, particularly in cities like Portland. We have observed a growth in the immigrant and refugee populations in the state. By early 2019, the demand for interpreting services expanded to include a wider range of languages. However, the recruitment of interpreters for some less common languages has been slow, resulting in an inability to fulfill 100% of on-site requests. The challenge of unavailable interpreters was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the demand for patient care increased, the tight job market made the task of finding qualified interpreters increasingly challenging.
Client’s Needs & Objectives: MPHC requires more comprehensive interpreter coverage.
Service Overview: On-site, prescheduled and on-demand VRI/OPI in 200+ languages including ASL
Approach & Implementation: We met with the MPHC Contract department and their central scheduling manager in March 2023. We propose adding a remote interpreting service line to complement the existing on-site services. During the demonstration of our platform, when we showcased the on-demand connection, the Scheduling manager’s face lit up. She was thoroughly impressed with the instant connection to interpreters. Additionally, we suggested incorporating ASL services, aiming to provide a comprehensive, one-stop solution for them. For on-site services, we are intensifying our recruitment strategies to maintain a low staff-unavailable rate.
Visuals: Screenshots, graphics, or any other visual representation of the work process or output (if available and appropriate).
Quantitative Outcomes: Back in June, our on-site interpreter request fulfillment rate was 85%, which improved to 92% by August 2023. We’ve also observed a rise in ASL interpreter requests.
Client Feedback/Testimonial: PSR Karen likes our on-demand OPI service and found it to be an invaluable solution when an on-site interpreter was not accessible.