Healthcare Providers' and Deaf Patients' Perspectives on Video Remote Interpreting: A Mixed Methods Study
thesisposted on 2019-08-05, 00:00 authored by Manako Yabe
Many hospitals have popularized the use of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), a technology that facilitates communication between healthcare providers and deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) patients in medical settings. The technology utilizes American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters by way of a computer or tablet with a webcam and Internet connection. While VRI provides prompt services for emergency care and is cheaper than in-person interpreting services, there have been several challenges with its use, such as poor connection, limited flexibility to maneuver, or small screen size, which makes it difficult to see ASL interpreters or DHH patients on the screen. To improve VRI services, this study investigated the preferences and priorities of healthcare providers and DHH patients related to VRI and in-person interpreting. The study utilized a mixed methods approach. Data collection included a quantitative online survey for healthcare providers and DHH patients to learn about their preferences regarding VRI versus in-person interpreting, as well as qualitative in-depth interviews with healthcare providers and DHH patients. Findings indicated that both healthcare providers and DHH patients prefer in-person interpreting for critical care to obtain effective communication, translation accuracy, trust-building, and better treatments. Despite their preferences, both groups often end up using VRI due to time demands, budget concerns, limited in-person interpreter availability, and constraints imposed by hospital administration systems. Based on study findings, recommendations for not only improving VRI equipment, and improving healthcare communication with deaf patients include: training healthcare providers for cultural interaction; training hospital administrators and VRI companies to meet legal obligations; medical training for VRI interpreters; and training DHH patients and their families for understanding their rights.