221316 Improving quality and consistency of health care translations through development of an online managed care term glossary

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sonia Gamboa, MAT , Health Education, Cultural and Linguistic Services, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA
Yolanda Partida, DPA , Hablamos Juntos National Program Office, UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education & Research, Fresno, CA
Susan Thompson , Consumer Marketing, WellPoint, Inc., Camarillo, CA
Therese Horth , Cultural and Linguistic Services, Care1st Heath Plan, Monterey Park, CA
Kathy Grant , Community Resource Center, Anthem Blue Cross, North Hollywood, CA
Lenna Monte, MPH , CHES , Cultural and Linguistic Services, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA
Nai Kasick, MPH, CHES , Health Education, Cultural and Linguistic Services, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles, CA
When limited English proficient health care consumers receive translated health care materials, terms used by translators may be inconsistent, especially when there is no equivalent in another language for an English term. In July 2009, L.A. Care Health Plan worked with our Plan Partners, translation vendors, and Hablamos Juntos, a San Francisco-based organization focused on tackling language barriers in health care, to develop a standard set of health care terms easily accessible via a web-based interface. Through a collaborative process involving professional linguists and health care representatives, the group validated and incorporated nearly 250 Spanish terms into an online health care glossary. The glossary is available to health plan translators, interpreters, and staff who communicate with members in Spanish in an effort to standardize health care terms in Los Angeles County and make translated materials easily understood by Spanish speakers. The glossary ensures consistency of translation for member documents such as evidence of coverage or notice of action letters. This project is an example of a collaborative effort to improve access to quality health care language services for LEP populations, ultimately improving patient outcomes and health care satisfaction. Future plans include expanding the glossary to include health education terms and developing glossaries for Chinese. L.A. Care Health Plan provides health care to nearly 800,000 low-income families and individuals in vulnerable communities in Los Angeles County, California. L.A. Care's membership reflects the county's diverse urban population; over 50% of members indicate a preference for services in languages other than English.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe barriers and inconsistencies in translating health care documents. 2. Explain how technology can be used to make health care translations consistent.

Keywords: Internet Tools, Health Care Managed Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Nai Kasick is the director of Health Education, Cultural, and Linguistic Services Department at L.A. Care Health Plan. She is responsible for the translation, interpretation and health education services for nearly 800,000 Medi-Cal, Medi-Care, Health Families and Healthy Kids members in Los Angeles County. Ms. Kasick has worked with vulnerable and cultural diverse populations in health care setting for 13 years. She has also worked to train low-income people of color to entry level health care jobs and advance their careers through health care ladder training program, which Ms. Kasick developed and secured funding as an executive director for non-profit agencies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.