Best Practices for Healthcare Translations

Does your organisation have clear guidelines and procedures for healthcare translations in place? Here are some of the best practices for healthcare translations that any healthcare professional and organisation should know.

Centralization

The key to providing accurate healthcare translation services is by implementing a centralised process. This means that translation requests from multilingual or international patients should be introduced into a specific funnel and communicated to the relevant department or organisation (if outsourced).

Centralising requests helps you validate the need for such services and eliminate duplicate solicitations. Typically, healthcare providers create a formal committee that meets regularly to discuss the necessity of healthcare translation (especially for vital documentation).

Outsourcing

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While some healthcare providers rely on bilingual or multilingual employees to handle translations, it may be best to consider outsourcing this part of your patient service to a professional agency. Healthcare translation agencies like Pangea Global may help you reduce the time allocated to handling this task internally, allowing your staff to focus more on working with patients.

The main advantage of using the services of a professional translation agency is quality assurance. Translation agencies follow strict standards and procedures consisting of several steps, including translation, revision, editing and linguistic quality assurance. There is a whole team responsible for the translation project.

In contrast, in cases where an in-house employee is handling the healthcare translation, another professional rarely checks the accuracy of the material translated by their colleague. Often, this leads to style or terminology inconsistencies. All these can be avoided by using the services of a professional agency.

Ensuring quality

It is vital to ensure consistency in style and terminology throughout the entire document to deliver high-quality translations. There are several tools you could use to speed up the linguistic QA process, such as:

  • Translation Memory: A dynamic terminology database storing similar translated content that facilitates the reuse of parts of that content or specific terms in similar contexts in other pieces of content. Translation Memory proves cost-effective and time-saving in time, allowing translators to complete larger chunks of content faster.
  • Glossaries: When translating content, industry and company-specific glossaries are also a huge asset. Capturing the company‚Äôs preference for specific terms (branded and non-branded) gives the translator a shot in the arm.
  • Style guides: In general, non-terminology preferences are covered by detailed style guides, which include information about formatting, narrative style (1st person, 2nd person, plural of authority, etc.), punctuation (AP, Chicago, Vancouver style, etc.), referencing style, and finally, the layout of the translated material.

Getting professional help

Pangea Global is a professional translation agency with a solid footprint in the EU and the UK. In the language services industry since 2015, we specialise in healthcare and pharma translations, covering regulation, product descriptions, labeling, user guides and instructions, calibration manuals for medical devices, patient diagnosis and tests, and more. Please visit our website for more information about our services.

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