Inadequate Medical Translation Services Translate to Medical Malpractice

Medical Translation and Medical Malpractice from German Translation and Korean Transltion mistakes.

Medical Translation Negligence

With the amount of publicity that medical error has received in the news, it is easy to see why the public now views it as something very serious in terms of avoidable patient injury, achieving effective treatment, and controlling health care costs. The prevention of medical errors may seem to be a relatively simple task, and with heightened awareness, some improvements have been reported. While some of these methods are already in place, healthcare administrators are continuously working on new practical, reasonable, and effective approaches.  Unfortunately, most new cases of medical negligence could have easily been avoided.  For instance, research shows that the majority of healthcare slip-ups are due to subpar communiqué often from inexperienced medical translation workers.  Through this editorial, we will shine light on an important oversight so that safer, better and less expensive medical treatment can be offered.

Problems in medical translation and interpretation occur throughout the world.   No country is safe. There are still treatment centers throughout the world that are unqualified to accommodate people needing Japanese, Portuguese or even Korean Translation services.  To help explain the scale of this predicament, our medical translation team has documented a case that will give you a general idea of the issues we face today.

Textbooks on workplace communication detail the encoding, transmission and decoding that takes place in all forms of workplace.  Each message is designed to produce some sort of stimuli when interpreted by the intended party. There are a wide range of methods that allow messages to transmitted and received in an organization that consist of vocal, printed and other non-verbal processes.  For illustration, communication can be facilitated frankly or through an intermediary by means of a vocal message, cell phone, text message, letter, etc.. In addition, the message can take on a wide range of tones that may seem offensive, peaceful, hurried, panicked, advisory, vendictive.  It might also be in a foreign language, special code or another means of expression. Communication might have a hidden agenda too.  In other words, it can full of ambiguity, shun responsibility, and be misleading.

With the previous background information, we now feel comfortable sharing the findings from a medical care study that examined the results of inadequate medical translation..  A worldwide report written by a major medical association found large instances of medical translation error in the medical systems of the U.S., Canada and several European Union nations.  In nearly one in five cases that required the involvement of a medical translator, a serious error was reported. The primary cause was contributed to insufficient experience of the medical translator that contributed to a breakdown in overall communication. The problem implicated the German Translation workers who were shown to lack the medical and interpretation skills needed to adequately communicate the doctor’s orders.    This resulted in patients who were too confused about the instructions provided by the interpreter or patients who didn’t agree with something that the interpreter said. According to available intelligence sources, the health of patients was often in jeopardy because the translator was unqualified to accurately communicate knowledge, beliefs, concerns, questions and answers to the medical staff. Often, doctors were unable not make clear the specific goals for treatment. Translators also overlooked other information that pertained to side-effects of medication and emotional burdons. As a result, many patients grew tired of the side effects and completely stopped taking their prescriptions.  The researchers also found countless examples of poor translations that led to duplicate appointments, incorrect appointment times and large errors in the translation of patient medical records.

One thought on “Inadequate Medical Translation Services Translate to Medical Malpractice

  1. Thanks for this alarming post. It is true that there are some people who call themselves a translator and yet remotely qualified to translate. However, people who hire translators are responsible, too, in my opinion. They should look for trustworthy translators, rather than ‘cheap’ ones.

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