Children’s Uses On-Demand Video Service

En español

For families who do not speak English, talking to nurses and doctors about their child’s illness can be challenging. To bridge the communication barrier, the department of Language Access Services recently introduced a new high-tech tool called MARTTI (My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter) to several departments at Children’s.

MARTTI provides two-way digital video/audio communication, allowing a patient family to hear, see and talk Interpretación interactiva to a remote interpreter live via a wireless computer connection. Each unit has a 17-inch LCD screen, webcam and directional microphones. The units are either mounted on a pedestal with wheels for portability, or set on a desktop.

“This is the outcome of a long process that we started in December 2006,” said Edgardo Garcia, director of Language Access Services. “We wanted to explore options for expeditious interpretations for patients, which translates into better service for limited-English proficiency families.”

By clicking a button, a caregiver can connect with an operator from The Language Access Network — the company that developed MARTTI — and explain which language is needed. The TLAN operator then transfers the call to an interpreter. Interpreters for 150 languages, including American Sign Language, are available.

Since the devices were deployed in May in Emergency Services and on floors B4 and B6, Children’s has placed more than 700 calls through MARTTI. Before the units were deployed, caregivers in need of an interpreter either had to request a translator through Language Access Services or use the language line, which provides interpretation over the telephone.

“Families appreciate that face-to-face interaction,” said Meagan Gaither, an RN in Emergency Services who uses MARTII on a daily basis. When a 7-year-old patient and her mother, both of whom are deaf, came to Children’s, Gaither used MARTTI to connect them to an American Sign Language translator. “The mother was so appreciative she teared up,” said Gaither, who has accessed MARTTI for Spanish, Vietnamese and Japanese translations.

One of the main benefits of MARTTI is the ability for the patient family and interpreter to see one another. “Studies indicate that anywhere from 65 to 80 percent of communication is done through body language — this is where the communication takes place.”

While MARTTI is a convenient tool for accessing translators, caregivers rely on a Language Access Services representative to provide discharge instructions, which are usually provided in a written form. Also, the language lines are preferable over MARTTI in some instances, Garcia said.