Video interpretation is an important part of the daily operations of the clinical departments at Odense University Hospital (OUH). Video interpretation is a relatively new service, which is used in consultations with patients, who do not speak or understand Danish to a degree that makes it possible to communicate with the staff.
The implementation of video interpretation took place as a part of a national project from 2009 to 2011. In the fall of 2014, video interpretation accounted for 88 % of the joint number of interpretations at OUH.
Expectations of video interpretation were i.e. to avoid using relatives as interpreters and avoid a waste of time and resources in relation to transport and patients that fail to turn up.
All in all, both patients and staff were pleased with video interpretation, which limits the use of relatives as interpreters. It also reduces the risk of the interpreter and the patient being acquainted from the community, which may cause ethical problems and awkward situations.
By means of video interpretation, a physical examination can be carried out with interpretation, because the camera may be turned off or covered without loosing the sound.
Video interpretation is a benefit for “small” languages, because the hospital is no longer dependent on an interpreter in the locality. Video interpretation also afford the possibility of offering acute interpretations, since the interpreter only needs to be vacant and avoids using time on transportation to the hospital.
An additional advantange is the booking process, which has been made digital. This makes it easier for the hospital to keep an eye on and control the use of interpreters, and it has been made easier for the departments to view and change their bookings.
Video interpretation is an assistance from an interpreter delivered through a video conference. By interpreting through video, the patient, doctor and interpreter are able to see and hear each other, but the interpreter is not physically present. Video interpretation is available in more or less all languages, including sign language.