EHR/EMR

UMass Memorial Health integrates LanguageLine App into Epic EHR

Implementation increases operational efficiency, accuracy, and compliance with on-demand interpretation capabilities to support caregiver and patient experience

UMass Memorial Health (UMMH), the largest not-for-profit health system in Central Massachusetts, has become first health system to integrate the LanguageLine Solutions interpreting app into its Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Particularly useful for clinicians who care for limited English speakers, as well as patients who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, the LanguageLine app provides on-demand access to a network of 20,000 medical interpreters – more than 240 languages. The tool is embedded directly in the Epic charting application used broadly for patient appointments, streamlining processes and enhancing care for diverse populations in UMMH’s areas of service.

In 2023, UMMH patients spoke 108 different languages, leading to over six million minutes of interpretation. LanguageLine Solutions’ app simplifies the process of connecting with an interpreter and ensures automated, accurate data collection for billing, compliance audits, and reimbursement opportunities, allowing clinicians to focus solely on the patient’s care plan and outcomes.

Integrating into Epic allows sessions to be encrypted and documented in the EHR, delivering a timely, accurate record of the patient’s interpretation history. For UMMH, LanguageLine developed a flexible method, allowing the health system’s technology team to configure and make changes to the integration on their own.

“We are pleased to offer this new resource to help create a better care experience for our patients, while improving efficiencies for our clinical teams,” said Dr. Eric Alper, Chief Quality Officer and Chief Clinical Informatics Officer at UMMH. “Advancements in this area support our mission to improve health equity through our technological capabilities and the care we provide to our communities.”

A single click from Epic’s Haiku, Canto or Rover app automatically launches LanguageLine’s app with the patient’s information and preferred language already selected. Connecting with a LanguageLine interpreter typically takes less than 15 seconds. Video and audio-only formats are offered, and no appointment is required. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The Epic integration is a testament to the power of partnership,” LanguageLine President and CEO Scott W. Klein said. “Not only was it a close collaboration between the UMMH technology team and ours, but we spent considerable time interviewing doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff to better understand the workflow involved in serving patients who speak limited English, or who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.”

After an interpretation session is complete, LanguageLine writes back key data including language requested, call duration, and interpreter identification to clinic notes, flow sheets, and other data storage locations in Epic—automating a process that clinicians had previously complete manually. Building this interpreter-session history into a patient’s record helps providers ensure compliance with regulations outlined in Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The LanguageLine app uses the secure healthcare standard SMART on FHIR that ensures patient safety and organizational compliance.

To learn more about LanguageLine for EHR, please visit https://www.languageline.com/interpreting/on-demand/ehr.

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