HumanIT Blog

Melina’s Story

February 17, 2016

Written By: James "Jamey" Edwards


As our country becomes more diverse, our goal is to embrace that diversity and not let language or culture drive us apart, but rather bring us together to connect.

Communication is fundamental to each patient and provider encounter. Without it, patients AND providers suffer.

Imagine being in a foreign country where you don’t know the language.

You have been injured.

You show up to the ER and people are racing around you yelling things you don’t understand.

Tests are being run and things are happening to you with no explanation.

Sound scary?

It is and it happens at hospitals across our nation each and every day.

Restoring communication does more than get the point across. It allows a provider to order the proper tests. It reduces their anxiety and the patients during their stay. It restores dignity and drives satisfaction. It saves time and money.

As our country becomes more diverse, our goal is to embrace that diversity and not let language or culture drive us apart, but rather bring us together to connect. It is those connections that matter. That create meaning in our work and life. What follows is an example of how our commitment to breaking down barriers is improving healthcare in our country. Thank you for letting us share them with you and feel free to reach out at anytime if we can be of any service.

On a late Friday evening last July, Melina walked into a hospital with intense pain in her chest. A seasonal worker from Bolivia, Melina had just finished her shift when she started having trouble breathing. Speaking only a dialect of Quechua, Melina couldn’t tell the nurse what was happening, or how she could help. With the pain intensifying, Melina was beginning to panic. The doctors initially thought it was trauma to her lungs, but they couldn’t figure out exactly what she was trying to communicate.

“I was very short of breath and the doctors couldn’t understand what I was trying to tell them,” said Melina. “I couldn’t lie down to sleep; it put too much pressure on my chest.”

The providers used Martti™ and at the touch of a button were connected to a Certified Medical Interpreter within 30 seconds. With trusted communication restored, the doctors were able to ascertain that her lymphatic system was leaking exceeding large amounts of fluid into her chest and abdomen. With the help of the interpreter, she survived and fully recovered.

At Language Access Network, we provide life-saving communication and are partnered with over 500 hospitals and high-end tertiary facilities, such as Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan Kettering and The Ohio State University Medical Center.

We provide state of the art communication technologies and real-time access to certified medical interpreters skilled in over 250 different languages. We ensure that language doesn’t become a barrier to a healthcare professional’s ability to provide the right treatment for every patient’s needs.

We utilize video based technology, Martti™ (My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter), which ensures that Limited English Proficient (LEP), Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing patients have equal access to clear, concise communication with those who care for them. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 250 languages, we’re proud to help drive patient and provider satisfaction, increase diagnoses speed, and improve outcomes for patients just like Melina.

To keep up to date on how you can reduce risk, diagnose accurately and save lives with Martti™.