St. John Providence Breaks Language Barriers With 24/7 Video Medical Interpreters

By Sean Lee

One Metro Detroit health system is using a high-tech tool to help break down communication barriers with patients.

Rushing to the ER at 3 a.m. on a Sunday because something is really wrong is already stressful. But imagine getting there and no one speaks your language.

Normally, hospitals have on-call interpreters to come in and translate for patients. But now, St. John Providence Health System has something called MARTTI.

MARTTI — which stands for My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter — provides live video medical interpretation 24/7 in more than 200 languages, like Vietnamese.

Maria Matheney, Telecommunications Manager at St. John, says the system means faster, more efficient care.

“So, we eliminate the communication barrier and also the wait time so that way we can triage, from the medical aspect, the customer’s needs more expeditiously and we can ensure that their care is no different from those of us who are English-speaking,” she said.

MARTTI also provides services for deaf and hard of hearing patients.

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