"There are so many barriers to accessing health as it is...using third-party translation services just doesn't seem like the best mode of care."
Interpretation and translation can be a barrier to receiving proper care at a hospital or clinic.
We began the research process by creating a stakeholder map to further understand the different sides of the issue. We used our stakeholder map to identify interview participants and completed a total of 12 interviews with stakeholders in the Austin area. This includes refugees, healthcare providers, and representatives from non-profit refugee organizations. We used affinity mapping, service blueprinting, and journey mapping to synthesize our data. We used this synthesis to form our value statement and design criteria.
Audio interpretation seems to be the only option in many cases
Communication as a whole is strongly lacking
For instance: she says "I feel the vein that goes from my left ear to the back of my head hurts so much. the translator ended up saying that she has a headache or her ears hurts. bcz he/she did not understand the word the patient used for "vein"
Needing a translator/interpreter in a health care setting can impact refugee comfort levels when receiving care
How do you know the other person is translating correctly?
How might we address the comfort level of the patient by increasing confidence in the provider and in the message that's being translated?
Given our research surrounding translation issues, we knew we needed to design a service that minimizes the use of third-party interpreters and promotes a smooth flow of communication between providers and patients.
What is our minimum viable product, and how can that create value for stakeholders?
As part of the Service Design process outlined by our class, we were told to pivot from our early prototypes and strip it down to the bare minimum. What is the least we could do that would still provide value to the patient and their provider? We identified that as Visualize Digital. From that pivot, we came up with 2 product tiers: Visualize and Visualize Premium, where Visualize is just the digital component with the treatment print-out, and Visualize Premium is the system in its entirety.
Is Visualize comprehensive enough to address health communication issues?
This last piece of feedback led us to broaden our scope: this service can apply to all patients, not just refugees. Everyone should be able to feel confident in the message that's being communicated to their provider, and Visualize is accessible and easy enough to be used by all.
The bottom line: clinics will save money on third-party interpreter use. Patients have autonomy over the message that's being communicated to their provider.
EHR Buyout: Could be implemented in partnership with EHR companies. Visualize could be bought out by EHR companies and most quickly get the service out to patients.
Hospitals & Clinics: Could be installed directly in hospitals and clinics. We've developed an adjustable cost estimator to help hospitals determine how much they would save on third-party interpreters.
Refugee Organizations: Partner with refugee service organizations to track use and response following appointments, giving us continual feedback to evolve our system.