Accuracy of Computer-Generated, Spanish-Language Medicine Labels
Iman Sharif, MD, MPH and Julia Tse, BA
This study published in Pediatrics examined the accuracy of the Spanish translations for medicine labels for a group of 286 participating pharmacies in the Bronx, NY. The majority of pharmacies that provided labels in Spanish used a computer program to generate the Spanish translation (86%). Alternatives for translation were to use a staff member (11%) or a professional interpreter (3%). 76 labels were analyzed with an overall translation error rate of 50%. The top three computer programs used were Micro Merchant, OPUS-ISM and BestRx, established pharmacy programs.
This article draws attention to the important truth that provision of language resources without the assurance of quality and accuracy can do more harm than good. By providing a translation that mistranslates "once a day" and instructs "eleven times a day", health disparities for the limited-English proficiency population are widened, not diminished. Not only was "once a day" translated as "eleven times a day"; incomplete translations did not include the phrases, “dropperfuls,” “apply topically,” “for 7 days,” “for 30 days,” “apply to affected areas,” “with juice,” “take with food,” and “once a day.”
Accuracy is everything.
Recently, DUSON worked with Canopy Innovations to strengthen its commitment to the Spanish-speaking population, currently numbering 41 million in the United States. Canopy has helped DUSON to diversify and enrich their medical Spanish offering for the entire nursing student body.
Canopy is proud to be referenced in a major study published in Advances in Medical Education and Practice.
Preliminary data suggest that incorporation of a longitudinal Spanish language and cultural competency curriculum for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents has a beneficial impact on patient satisfaction and adherence to medical recommendations for Spanish-speaking patients who are limited English proficient. Canopy Learn — Canopy’s NIH-funded online medical Spanish course — was one of the components of this curriculum that has demonstrated improvement in patient experience and medical adherence.
Dr. Christine O'Dea discusses the scope of the language barrier in healthcare and the importance of learning medical Spanish.
Watch the recorded webinar!
One in every eight individuals in the U.S. is limited-English proficient (LEP). Unfortunately, only a small fraction of those patients receive language assistance services due to limited resources and inadequate tools. The language barrier undermines the quality of care the nursing community is able to deliver to the growing LEP population.
Check out this tragically humorous clip from HBO’s show, “Getting On.” Albeit dramatized for Hollywood, this clip is indicative of a real issue: the deficit in useful tools providers have at their disposal when working with LEP patients.
CEO, Michael Cullinan and Manager of Advocacy & Partnerships, Olivia Norrmén-Smith, will be speaking on the "Anatomy of the Pilot" panel this coming Sunday 25th to help kick off the 10th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference.
Canopy Speak is listed as one of the 13 best apps to help nurses improve patient care in Becker's Hospital Review.
Check it out here!
Take an in-depth dive into the state of the language barrier: join Canopy Innovations’ webinar, “Dissecting the Language Barrier in Nursing and Prioritizing Solutions” at 2pm eastern on October 5th!
Canopy Innovations was thrilled to receive this original poem from Victoria Roberts as a submission to the #canopyconvos contest. It is a beautiful reflection on the harrowing nature of the linguistic and cultural barrier in healthcare.
As health care providers, it is our responsibility to provide comfort and act as a source of information for all the patients we see. Language barriers can make this extremely difficult, especially when compounded by the shaky inexperienced hands of young medical students. It is vitally important for all young health professionals to properly educate themselves in the language and necessary skills before endeavoring to care for people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.