Mississauga hospitals to use app to help non-English speaking patients communicate with health care workers


Published February 28, 2023 at 3:57 pm

Voyce translation app used in THP’s Diagnostic Imaging Department

In a city as diverse as Mississauga, residents who require medical care in one of the city’s two hospitals might be worried about communicating with doctors or nurses who don’t share their mother tongue.

Fortunately for those who do not speak English as their first language, an app is rolling out across Trillium Health Partners (THP) properties that will connect health care staff and patients with skilled, medically-trained interpreters. 

THP operates both the Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital, as well as the Queensway Health Centre in Etobicoke. 

Today (Feb. 28), THP announced that the health organization and Voyce Canada are partnering on a new app-based language interpretation service following a successful pilot project.

The pilot project, which kicked off in July 2021, was the first of its kind in Canada. 

According to THP, the Voyce app provides access to more than 240 different languages and dialects, including American Sign Language (ASL) and Indigenous languages such as Cree and Ojibwe.

In Mississauga, over 33 per cent of the population speaks a non-official language as their first language. 

“The cornerstone of quality health care is ensuring that no one gets left behind, and equitable solutions are available and accessible for all,” said Shalu Bains, Trillium Health Partners’ Vice President of Performance and Business Intelligence, in a statement. 

“This innovative approach not only achieves that, but creates a more connected system in the way we deliver and receive care.”

Using the app, health care providers can allow patients to speak directly to a medically-trained interpreter who speaks their language and can relay information to the provider. The app also allows patients to connect with family members and caregivers. 

Over the course of the pilot program, close to 220 patients used the service in 36 different languages, including ASL. 

THP says the top languages requested were Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Punjabi, and Cantonese. 

On average, it took just 32 seconds for a connection with an interpreter of a preferred language.

THP says the Voyce app is now rolling out across its facilities.

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