Reasons Why Medical Records Need to Be Translated

translation medical records

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Everyone should have access to proper healthcare and treatments. This doesn’t just mean giving everyone an equal opportunity to access medicine and treatment plans.

It also means giving every person the capacity to understand and fully comprehend the results and medical records that they generate.

For us native English speakers, it’s not a problem to understand medical records. However, for the 75% of the world’s population that don’t speak English, this becomes a major concern.

This is just one of the many reasons why more and more medical professionals are fighting to make translations of medical records easier.

If you want to see the value in doing this, then here are the top reasons why it’s important.

Not Everyone Understands English

This is the most basic, yet most important, reason as to why medical records need to be translated.

Aside from the fact that 75% of the world’s population don’t speak English, it’s also worth noting that only 6% speak English as their first language.

For those non-native speakers, it would be harder to understand medical records.

Medical records are crucial as they give us an understanding of our body and health’s current condition.

If people then go to see a doctor who isn’t a native speaker, it will be harder for them to explain their records thoroughly.

This could lead to misunderstandings and mistranslations.

It’s not just the patients we should be worried about. Even medical professionals need access to medical records that are translated into their native tongue.

Let’s look at one scenario. A Japanese businessman gets emergency treatment in the US while he is there for a business trip.

The doctors advise him to seek more treatment once he heads back home. It’s already a possibility that he would have a hard time understanding the results from his medical records.

What most people don’t consider is that the doctors he will be turning to back at home won’t be able to fully comprehend the records either.

It would be much better if the patient can bring a Japanese version of his records back home.

Make It Easy for Practitioners

Translated medical records also help medical practitioners perform better at work.

When accessing records through EMR systems, it would be more efficient for nurses and doctors to have two copies of the records. One in English and another in the native tongue of the patient.

To avoid getting lost in translation, nurses can give their patients a copy of the translated medical records so that they can communicate with them more effectively.

It’s not just about providing more accuracy while speaking to the patients, it also makes the process of explaining the records faster.

From a broader scope, hospitals and other medical facilities will be able to streamline their processes through translated records. Healthcare workers will be able to work much faster, thus allowing everyone to proceed with their duties as efficiently as possible.

Help Patients With Aftercare

A doctor’s duty goes above and beyond a patient’s time at the clinic or the hospital. That’s only the beginning, as medical practitioners are also tasked with guiding the patient towards better aftercare practices.

Patients are going to have a tough time adhering to aftercare guidelines if they find it difficult to understand medical records.

By translating medical records to a patient’s mother tongue, it will be much easier for them to understand the steps they need to take to ensure their safety and well-being moving forward.

It’s always best for patients to know every detail behind their health, after all.

Aftercare is just as important as the actual treatment – even more for some cases. Patients need to undertake aftercare properly so that they don’t experience relapses for certain diseases.

For this, they must understand data better.

medical translation

Why Professional Translations Are Important

If you are convinced that the best way to improve your medical center’s performance is through record translations, then the next step is to find the right people to do the job.

Medical records are sensitive documents that people, especially patients, need to have access to.

Accessibility isn’t just about giving them the records in due time; it’s also about ensuring that they understand the documents thoroughly.

As a medical practitioner, you must ensure that records are properly distributed.

You want to have professionals carrying out the translation for you. It would be impractical to use translation tools online as you could end up with errors on the medical record, and it would mean having to redo the process.

Alternatively, you can use ERM solutions that have built-in translation tools for a more accurate take on the task.

The key is to invest in the right people and solutions to make translations work.

At BeTranslated, our professional medical translators have many years of experience in translating medical records, prescriptions, and healthcare documents so you can feel confident that you are up-to-date and in full control of your health.

Contact BeTranslated today for a free, no-obligation quote.