Online Program

Assessing the Feasibility of Using Video Remote Medical Interpreting Services in Mississippi Department of Health Clinics

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Dora Moreno, MPH, Division of Linguistic and Cultural Services, Mississippi State Department of Health, Office of Health Disparity Elimination, Ridgeland, MS
Tanya Funchess, DHA, MPH, MSM, Office of Health Disparity Elimination, Mississippi State Department of Health, Ridgeland, MS
Valeria Pol, BA, Mississippi State Department of Health/Office of Health Disparity Elimination, MSDH/OHDE, Ridgeland, MS
Ana Alfaro-Correa, BA, MA, ScD, Mississippi State Department of Health, Office Of Health Disparity Elimination, MSDH/OHDE, Ridgeland, MS
The literature shows that language barriers have a demonstrable negative impact on access, quality and patient satisfaction.  With increasing Hispanic and Vietnamese populations, Mississippi faces demands for services mediated by trained medical interpreters available on as-needed basis. Video remote medical interpreting (VRMI) presents an opportunity to address these demands.  This study examines VRMI as an appropriate tool for meeting the challenges of providing access to quality medical services to all persons with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Objective:This pilot project assesses the feasibility of implementing VRMI in the Mississippi State Department of Health public health clinics. 

Methods:  Clinic staff will contact the Office of Health Disparities Elimination (OHDE)’s professionally trained medical interpreters to assist with LEP patients.  A HIPPA-compliant room will be dedicated exclusively for interpretations.  Project uses a convenience sample of LEP Spanish-speaking >18 years old patients, seeking services at Madison, Hinds and Copiah counties HD clinics between February-July 2015.   Outcomes to be monitored and analyzed include: 1) patient satisfaction; 2) appointment compliance; 3) clinical services use.  Patient satisfaction data will be obtained by follow-up telephone interview conducted within one-week of clinic visit.  The survey includes questions related to the overall experience with VRMI services.  Appointment compliance and utilization of services will be evaluated via the MSDH Patient Information Management System (PIMS) by comparing data on the receipt of clinical services before, during and after the implementation of the program to assess impact of VRMI.   


Using VRMI, trained medical interpreter are able to serve more than one patient at a time. Effective use of time and services could lower costs while increasing access and coverage.  Results obtained from this pilot will inform our recommendations and policies toward providing better services for our LEP communities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe MSDH efforts to provide access to health care to LEP persons. Demonstrate the use of video remote interpretating technology to increase access to health services for LEP persons in Mississippi.

Keyword(s): Underserved Populations, Telehealth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal or coordinator of several federally funded grants focusing on health issues of Hispanic and minority populations. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for promoting access to quality health care, cultural and linguistic competence and policy.
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.