Healthcare Cost Savings Case Study:Stratus Video Interpreting Assists Sanford Health System in Accommodating Increasing LEP Population,Saves a Predicted $100,000 Per Year

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Stratus Video Interpreting previously integrated its technology into the Sanford Health System, the economic result of which has prompted Stratus to vigorously renew its call for nationwide standardization with regard to equal access to language services.

Stratus Video Interpreting
[Stratus’ system] is absolutely essential. In the ER, things happen very quickly and we need to get information very quickly – but we need to get accurate information and this helps us to do that.

The struggles that lie in communication between healthcare facilities and limited English proficiency (LEP) patients has been well-documented—reportedly, language barriers between doctors and patients are a proven cause for repeat visits to the emergency room and an increased likelihood for fatal consequences and medical malpractice lawsuits. (1)

At Sanford Health, the largest medical facility in the Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD regions, a rising LEP population necessitated the need for Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), a service rapidly overtaking the language services segment that offers the personal one-on-one feel of face-to-face interpreting, but with the cost structure and speed of answer equal to that of over-the-phone (OPI) interpreting.

Stratus Video Interpreting, a VRI company dedicated to increasing language access for non-English speaking refugees and immigrants in the United States, implemented its VRI system within Sanford Health, allowing Sanford to better accommodate its non-English speaking patients, all while lowering costs and preserving its level of safety and quality of service.

Case Study:

Situation: Historically, Sanford Health System relied on a slew of overscheduled face-to-face interpreters and an OPI system that both often proved to be unreliable and/or too expensive for the system to use consistently; as a result, Sanford officials grew concerned that patient care for non-English speaking individuals would be compromised as diversity in hospitals and clinics grew along with the local population.

Solution: Sanford Health contacted Stratus for assistance. Stratus then supplied Sanford with 20 iPad interpreter stations for use within the main hospital campus and 10 surrounding clinics. A massive training session was held for Sanford Medical staff, ensuring that anyone who may need to access an interpreter would know how to with Stratus Video.

Result: Taking into account a previous controlled study of one hospital department within a 33 hospital system, Stratus’ technology enabled the department to achieve a 72% cost reduction in just three weeks – as a result, Stratus officials estimate that Sanford will save up to $104,000 within the first year.

“[Stratus’ system] is absolutely essential. In the ER, things happen very quickly and we need to get information very quickly – but we need to get accurate information and this helps us to do that,” said Dr. Nigeria Stahl.

Stratus president David Fetterolf maintains that interpreting today is now a $2 billion dollar industry, where VRI is the new technology rapidly replacing $1 billion of the market from face-to-face and OPI interpreting. As the VRI interpreting segment grows, Stratus officials have continued the company’s effort to provide effective interpretation services to those who need them by recently acquiring Capiche, a company which represents the forefront of modern interpreting systems and offers the first WebRTC-based interpreting platform that connects LEP individuals with interpreters. The integration of the Capiche platform expands Stratus’ technical capabilities into WebRTC, a leading edge communications platform, and will provide critical technology enhancements to meet the rapidly growing demand for VRI.

“We strive to do everything within reach to bring quality language services to everyone in need. Sanford Health is one of the many hospital systems we hope to assist in order to remove language barriers and maintain quality of care,” said Stratus CEO Sean Belanger.

Stratus has also been very vocal in pushing for nationwide standardization with regard to language services within healthcare and court systems, which the company deems necessary due to the rising diversity of the U.S. population as well as the high costs associated with face-to-face and OPI interpreting.

Stratus specializes in the medical field and court interpreting, but the company’s technology is applicable to every industry. Stratus employs experienced, highly-qualified, certified interpreters who can either be used to supplement an existing interpreting infrastructure or to replace live and over-the-phone interpreters altogether with their VRI system.

For more information about Stratus and its services, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.

About Stratus Video Interpreting:

Stratus Video Interpreting provides on-demand interpreter services by using technology to connect clients with interpreters in over 175 spoken and signed languages in less than 30 seconds. Stratus’ cloud-based video solution delivers an array of unique features to virtually any Internet-enabled PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet. Stratus clients use the technology to connect with their own staff interpreters, as well as with Stratus interpreters, who have years of healthcare and courtroom experience and hold multiple certifications. With Stratus, state-of-the-art video remote interpreting is made available with virtually no capital investment. Stratus averages 65,000 video calls a day, up from 40,000 in mid-2013. Stratus Video is the sister company of The Z® (CSDVRS, LLC, dba ZVRS), which was established in 2006 and developed by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, setting the industry standard as the nation’s premier Video Relay Service Provider and the first VRS Provider to receive a 5-Year certification from the FCC. In 2014, Stratus was recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies, ranking #3,827 on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list. For more information, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.

1.Quinton, Sophie. “Speaking the Language of Health Care.” Nationaljournal.com. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. nationaljournal.com/next-america/health/speaking-the-language-of-health-care-20140319.

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