Translation is most common in real estate, law, and e-commerce. But what about medicine? There aren’t many instances where proper translation can mean the difference between life and death, but in this field, the stakes are high. Professional translation is always needed for both medical institutions and their patients.

The failure to translate costs a kidney

NBC covered a story surrounding Francisco Torres, a Spanish-speaking man, who was supposed to have a diseased kidney removed in 2010 in California. Torres was directed by the hospital staff to sign a consent form that was in English and that detailed which kidney was to be removed. Because the document wasn’t translated, Torres had no way of knowing that the wrong kidney was indicated in the document. Ultimately, the hospital was cited. In such an instance, the hospital should have had access to a translator or referred Torres to a translation agency to translate any documents related to his care, such as patient forms, medical transcripts, medical records, etc.

These situations happen often, but they can be easily avoided. When medical institutions utilize professional translation services, effective communication between the staff and patient is accomplished and it’s much easier to provide the best care. When important documents, such as medical records, service agreements, and post-discharge instructions are translated, patients have a better understanding of what to expect, and the hospital staff is well informed on the state of the patient’s health.

Make your medical literature language-friendly

Posters, brochures, and other communication materials are vital resources for health care providers and their patients. In translating health information, your hospital can make life-saving information more accessible to your patients. The truth is, many people have a challenging time navigating and understanding their health information. A study recognized that limited access to information in a patient’s native language was linked to misinterpretation of prescription medications. Patients who did not have access to these resources were also less likely to seek preventative care.

Language and literacy both play a role in improving healthcare outcomes. The translation of medical pamphlets, transcripts, and other resources does not have to be costly. TransForma can provide certified translations for your healthcare institution and its patients. We offer complimentary quotes. Contact us at (305) 722-3827 or at