Medical Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)

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Medical Video Interpretation ServicesLUNA Language Services offers video remote interpretation services to help medical professionals communicate with Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals and groups. An off-site American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter teleconferences with a medical representative via a webcam, videophone, or other device. We are one of the best video remote interpreting providers in the country, and maintain the same high standards for our video remote interpreters as for our on-site interpreters. National certification is a requirement for all American Sign Language interpreters, and specific medical interpreting training is given to all of our spoken foreign language interpreters. VRI can be a convenient choice when it is not possible to wait for an on-site interpreter, and it can also help reduce costs in appropriate medical settings. Whenever possible, the medical situation should be assessed in advance to determine whether a telephone interpreter is an appropriate replacement for an on-site interpreter. A LUNA coordinator or our Director of ASL Services, Rebecca Buchan, can help talk through the decision, but the following information can serve as guidance.

Considerations to Determine When Scheduling VRI

  • Number and roles of participants
  • Visual and Acoustic Barriers
  • Physical Placement of Participants
  • Length of Time Interpreter is Needed
  • Role and Function of Interpreter
  • Sensitivity of Information
  • Whether Issue Involves a Minor be Present
  • Mobility of Video/Audio Devices

In our experience, on-site interpreting is preferable in many situations, especially when sensitive information is being discussed, there are multiple participants, the nature of the information involves critical care, or there is a secondary barrier to communication, such as a disability or if a minor must be involved in the discussion. Moreover, in accordance with the recommendations of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, LUNA will advocate for on-site interpreters for medical situations in which a physical presence is required.


Video Remote Interpretation is Ideal in the Following Medical Settings

  • Health Screenings
  • Refugee Health Screenings
  • TB Tests
  • Immunizations
  • Routine Dental Visits
  • Routine Medical Visits

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