Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Multilingual access to pharmacy information for people with limited English proficiency

From Silive.com (May 9):
From providing translations for residents dealing with city agencies, to a bill that would require pharmacies to provide prescription information in languages spoken in every city community, there's a growing movement spearheaded by the Bloomberg administration and some City Council members to dramatically widen the requirements for translation services.
Advocates of the legislation, many of whom have been fighting for years to get the city and state to be more inclusive for people with limited English proficiency (LEPs), say the requirements are essential in removing a fundamental barrier to citizenship.
Rite Aid is in fact going to offer such a service. From a press release I received a few days ago to announce the launch (on May 12) of a multilingual access program:
Rite Aid Pharmacy, in conjunction with leading language service provider Language Line Services, [promotes a] new multilingual program throughout New York State and launch the roll-out of a language access program in its pharmacies nationwide. With Rite Aid’s multilingual program, customers with limited-English speaking skills may receive certain prescription and other related information printed in any one of 11 different languages and have access to interpreters in more than 175 languages via the Language Line® Interpretation Service.
A good move on Rite Aid's part, and a needed one for so many immigrants with limited (or non-existant) English skills.

I had some doubt about the telephone interpretation service – specifically, whether they can ensure good quality (several companies in this sector are notorious for the low rates they pay to freelance interpreters). However, in answer to my inquiry, I was told that
As far as how we confirm the quality of work, I can tell you the over-the-phone interpretation service is staffed with trained interpreters that are employed, not contracted, by Language Line Services. […] interpreters have the requisite experience in the healthcare field and the ability to preserve the meaning of the exchanges between the limited-English customer and pharmacist, which is important when dealing with prescriptions
If so, that's good news, and the new service should prove very useful to many people.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sign of the times?

Found today in my junk mail folder:
Interpreter/Tranaslator Companies: Get paid within 24 hours on all your commercial account invoices.
Are you waiting too long for your commercial customers to pay you?
Apparently an offer from a credit collection company, or (more likely) just a scam. But I had not seen one aimed specifically at our industry, before.

I'm certainly not going to use the services of someone who sent an unsolicited e-mail just like that, but, for those of us who dislike having to ask our customers to pay overdue invoices, it is a useful reminder: this is not the time to let our customers fall behind in payments.

End of support and upgrade pricing for Trados v. 7 and SDLX 2005

A few weeks ago I mentioned a Deadline for renewing Trados licenses. I was wrong then: April 15 was only a deadline for a special discount. The deadline for upgrading Trados v. 7 or SDLX 2005 is actually July 1st. From the SDL website:

Important information for TRADOS 7.x and SDLX 2005 users

[...] To enable us to continue providing superior technical assistance, we will cease to support and provide upgrade pricing for TRADOS 7.x and SDLX 2005 from 1st July 2009. This will allow us to focus on the latest software versions used by the majority of our customers.

Customers on newer versions (SDL Trados 2007 Suite, SDL Trados 2007, SDL Trados 2006) are not affected by these changes.

I can understand that a company may want to cease supporting a version of its products when it is too old. I believe they should, however, still offer upgrade pricing for all users of previous versions - I said so last time they made a similar announcement, and I believe this should be doubly true in the current economic situation.