Spanish speaking patient phone calls

by JRT1 JRT1, MSN, RN Member

Specializes in Leadership. Has 14 years experience.

Does anyone have a call tree or process for when Spanish speaking (or I guess any other language other than English) calls your clinic? We don't currently have any Spanish options on our phone tree but have a pretty substantial population of Spanish only patients. If they call and we answer we can always call our phone translator but if they leave a message or they are unable to communicate to the person on the receiving end its tricky. Most patient will come in person but we want to be able to serve these patients conveniently for them as well.



Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

I don't understand. You serve a predominately Spanish speaking population and no one in your office speaks Spanish? Or if someone in your office speaks Spanish why can't they listen to the messages?

All I can think of is hire a RN, MA, CNA, PCT, MUC, someone who is bilingual Spanish/English.

I'm not exactly sure how your phone tree works or what it is? We have a phone translation service that theoretically covers every possible language spoken. But the patient is physically in our facility and a speaker phone is used. I've heard it's expensive.

All hospitals/clinics that receive government services, i.e. medicare, are legally mandated to offer bilingual services to all patients.



Specializes in Leadership. Has 14 years experience. 17 Posts

I didn’t say predominantly anywhere in my post. We have a large population of Spanish speaking adults who are first generation immigrants so the vast majority do not have any sort of degree or skill set to work in the clinics. We have some great community programs trying to change that and help build up their community but that happens with time. We do utilize a translation service when they are physically present but we were considering options for our phone service. I’m asking to see if anyone has implemented anything like a “press 1 for English 2 for Spanish type model” and how they operationalized it.



Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

Sorry, I misunderstood your question. I don't have the slightest idea about setting up a phone service with bilingual press 1 or 2 options.



25 Posts

Why can't you call the translator and have them listen to the message?


bugya90, ASN, BSN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Care-Family Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 565 Posts

You should be able to contact your translator service and have them translate the message for you.

You can also use Google translate. We use this occasionally for generic patient e-mails. I wouldn't recommend it for any PHI but for the generic "Hey we have received our flu vaccines, come get your shot" type of messages it works well.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 10 years experience. 146 Posts

My company uses cyracom as telephone translation service provider. Look them up.

if someone calls main line it will say welcome something and then In Spanish it will say for spanish press 2. If they do nothing it defaults to English. Good luck