Grant Application

Maria Cecilia Q. Dancisin, MBA, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Proposed Innovation

Patients who are English learners have longer hospital stays, a greater risk of infection and surgical delays, and an increased likelihood of hospital readmission compared to those who speak English. At UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the readmission rate for English learners is 2.4 times higher than for other patients. Current interpretation services, including over-the-phone and in-person interpretation, are limited and underused.

In this pioneering project, Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) carts will be introduced into UPMC Children’s Outpatient Clinic areas to provide English learners quick access to high-quality interpretation services.

Improvements in Action

Five VRI carts will be purchased for the outpatient clinic areas with a high volume of English learners. Each cart provides patients and family members with a secure, on-demand internet connection to interpreters they can see and hear as if they were in the same room. These qualified interpreters are available within seconds.

Intended Outcomes

Having immediate access to skilled interpreters will reduce language barriers and ensure that patients and families who are English learners receive the same services, information, and other vital resources as English-speaking patients. The VRI carts are expected to positively impact key indicators, such as patient experience and satisfaction, unplanned returns to the outpatient clinic or emergency department visits for the same reason, and unnecessary interventions and testing of patients who are English learners.