Medical interpreting client since 2001
Exclusive contract for all on-site interpreting requests since 2013

Challenges

One of the largest healthcare providers in the state of Indiana, IU Health has the need for over 40,000 American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreting assignments a year. Taking place in a wide variety of locations, these prescheduled, last-minute, and long-term assignments include inpatient care, outpatient care, home health care, behavioral health, and physical therapy.

In 2013, prior to its annual audit by the Joint Commission, IU Health had the additional challenge of complying with new policies concerning patient safety and interpreting services quality.

To fulfill these needs, IU Health considered the selection of a single vendor to coordinate and fulfill ASL and spoken language interpreting appointments throughout its network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The goals were to increase efficiency and cut costs while raising the level of interpretation quality. Based on a stringent RFP process, IU Health selected LUNA Language Services.

LUNA’s Solution

In our proposal, we used a creative pricing system to cut IU Health’s Language Services budget by 20 percent immediately. We implemented workflow software to manage all assignments, allowing us to coordinate over 400 ASL and spoken language interpreters across the state.

Within 60 days, we established a database to track, audit, and produce reports on all compliance and training data for our entire team of contract interpreters. We also distributed IU Health policies and procedures, new uniform requirements, and photo IDs to our full team of contract interpreters.

Within 90 days, we coordinated the training of over 100 spoken language interpreters in Bridging the Gap, a nationally recognized 40-hour medical interpreting training course. We collected over 25 types of compliance documents from over 250 contract interpreters, including medical documents, background checks, certifications, and recommendations. Finally, we implemented the first of an annual HIPAA and ethics training program for our entire team of contract interpreters.

Results

We have earned high marks across the board from IU Health for our comprehensive solution. We have greatly increased the efficiency language services management while cutting costs. At the same time, IU Health has recognized a substantial increase in interpretation quality, and our system to manage interpreter compliance with IU Health’s policies is the first of the kind for the network. The ultimate beneficiaries are the patients, whose health outcomes depend on accurate and culturally sensitive communication.