The Impact of Language Barriers on Healthcare
Patient safety is everything in the healthcare system. The Health care systems are designed to look after people’s diagnoses and to give them secure treatment. Evidently, we are living in this globalized world where cultures and languages have become intermingled. Cross-border visa-free entry has become the norm of the day, thanks to international and regional organizations and treaties. Due to the increased demand for interdependency, a multi-linguistic world needs to remove the language barriers in order to live cordially, expand a business, and sustain health. If any kind of communication barrier comes in the way of it, the results can get catastrophic. For instance, in providing healthcare facilities, if the language barriers are there, then this sole barrier can pose great health risks. To address these challenges, many large healthcare centers use the service of professional medical translators and interpreters to overcome the communication gap. Likewise, medical translation services are a reliable source that is providing sensitive medical localization and translation services in more than 120 languages across the globe. Because providing the translation in the medical field is not an easy task, even a simple mistake can lead to a disastrous result. So, the implications are very severe if centers do not take professional linguistics services.
This article has explored some implications on health care owing to the language barriers.
1) Incorrect Diagnoses
One of the primary impacts of language difference is incorrect diagnosis. When intake medical staff like nurses and doctors are unable to understand the patient’s problems, they miss out on the sensitive information that should be provided and understandable clearly for further diagnosis. For instance, if a patient is experiencing diarrhea and that problem is wrongly diagnosed as liver disease due to the inability to have effective communication. Consequently, a wrong diagnosis will never lead to the right treatment. When the diagnosis goes wrong, you are likely to put the patient’s life in jeopardy.
2) Allergic Reactions and Drug Interactions
When a doctor is unable to understand the patient’s prescription, there is a possibility that the medication may cause an allergic reaction in the patient. It is highly acknowledged that medicine contains the required amount of drugs, and it can react if it is not used by strict guidelines. Patients are most likely to have dangerous drug interactions if the providers are not able to know about quantity. This happens when health care centers do not take precautions in hiring language interpreters. Like the business field, it is necessary to have a language service provider to hit the target audience, so, why then negligence is at medical hospitals when it is all about life?
3. Increase in the Dissatisfaction Gap
Due to the language difference, one side is unable to convey the message clearly to the other side. Likewise, a patient who belongs to China is suffering from stomach disorders but lives in the United States of America, and he is likely to speak Chinese or Mandarin. How can you accept that he will convey the exact problem to the American doctor? On the other hand, How will you accept that a doctor can cure the disease of that patient? This will ultimately increase the understanding gap between the patient and doctor which consequently results in dissatisfaction. And when there comes dissatisfaction with hospitals, patients do not go to hospitals, and they are likely to cure themselves with homemade remedies. Along with it, if a patient does not tell the full details of his problem to the doctor, the doctor will not be able to cure him in a regular manner.
4. Increase in Cost Due to Ill-Treatment
Another major implication of the language barrier is the increase in cost. Language obstacle comes in between the diagnosis, it results in longer treatment. Apart from this, ill-treatment leads to more problems. This all results in an increase in time and cost. By this, not only the health but money and time also get wasted. Many studies show that medical centers do not usually have medical interpreters or any contract with a professional language service provider. Health safety is the primary goal of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and it is the top priority of even the United Nations Organization (UNO) to eradicate diseases and urge the nations to follow all necessary medical precautions. Owing to the demands of the global village, people are facing many challenges that should be encountered simply by hiring medical translators.
5. Psychological Stress
Language barriers may increase psychological stress. There is no denying the fact that language is a key to communication, and this feature is designed to understand each other and live in this multicultural and multi-linguistic world. So, if there comes any sort of language difference, one is not able to understand another one. Likewise, Biomed Central Health Service Research illustrated that Language discrepancies may result in increased psychological stress. Because there is a possibility that many patients who come to hospitals are already suffering from some kind of anxiety, depression, and stress. So, in these kinds of cases, language barriers may cause serious hurdles and result in more mental issues.
In a nutshell, language barriers can cause great risks in the healthcare domain. This obstacle can cause plenty of risk factors for patients’ health and health care systems. That is why it is necessary to take the services of professional language service providers. Patient health is the primary duty of healthcare systems and wrong translational and inability to understand the language result in catastrophic results. Many online translation tools like Google Translate provide translation service that is appreciable. But the healthcare domain is sensitive and precise. It can not afford any minor mistake because there is a human life that is going to be at stake. That is why choosing a reliable platform is the need of an hour. Medical Translation holds the solution to this problem that can help you to remove language barriers by giving you translation services in the form of medical documentation, psychology translation, and pharmaceutical translation.