This region is home to a mix of cultures and dialects. So it stands to reason, at some point, our non-English speaking residents will need emergency medical care. And when they do, Avera McKennan is equipped to help them by speaking their language, what ever that may be.
Avera McKennan employees Jason DiMercurio and Elena Cook are demonstrating how the CyraCom phone service works. With the push of two buttons, the health care provider here can access an interpreter for 150 different languages and dialects.
Switchboard Manager Jason DiMurcurio says, "This service allows caregivers to give better care. They will know what the patient is actually talking about versus maybe pointing to what hurts and the patient can explain exactly how bad the pain is like a crushing pain, or stabbing pain or a soft pain."
Elena is only Spanish interpreter at Avera McKennan and thanks to these blue phones an interpreter is always on call so she doesn't have to be.
Elena says, "Sometimes it's a quick question for a patient and the phones are very helpful so I don't have to be running all over here and there for a little amount of time."
And when time matters, it's nice to know that an interpreter with medical terminology training is only seconds away.
Jason DiMurcurio says, "We don't want patients to utilize their families if at all possible just because some family members don't understand medical terminology and could get the translation wrong."
In October of 2006 Avera McKennan got 200 CyraCom phones. There is one in every room of the emergency department, every room of the Women's Center and one in every department throughout the hospital.
They didn't want a language barrier to keep people from getting the best possible care available. Avera McKennan was the first hospital in the region to use this over-the-phone interpreter service.