TikkTalk delivered qualified interpreters in 97 per cent of assignments for Hele Førde in 2017. That’s twice as good as municipal interpretation services and almost five times as good as private interpretation services elsewhere in the public sector.

– Booking an interpreter is quick and easy. The interpreters are of high quality and all the hospital staff I’ve spoken with are pleased, says anaesthetist Gregers Halvorsen at Førde Central Hospital.

Regional health trust Helse Førde has since summer 2017 run a comprehensive pilot project with interpretation services from TikkTalk, funded by Innovation Norway. The project is ensuring better interpretation services through increased use of qualified interpreters and  video interpretation.

Read more about the project in Norwegian health care magazine Dagens Medisin: – A huge boost for treatment and patient security  [In Norwegian]

– TikkTalk seems more well-organised than the interpretation services we have used before. We know the quality of interpreters is good and that gives us added security, Halvorsen says.

– When we have used other agencies, interpreters and patients have sometimes started talking among themselves, almost without me. As a doctor, I become disconnected from the conversation, which is not good, he continues.

He particularly emphasises how patients how don’t speak Norwegian or English appear calmer before going into surgery.

– Some patients you can’t communicate with without an interpreter. In those cases, it’s essential for us that the patients receive comprehensive information about how an operation will be conducted, says the anaesthetist.

– After we started using TikkTalk, it seems that the feeling of confidence and familiarity with the entire surgery process has become more pronounced among patients.

Established culture for using interpreters

Halvorsen says that Helse Førde has always been concerned with using interpreters when they are needed.

– We are so dependent on communicating with patients that we have had an established culture for using interpreters. But the project with TikkTalk may have made people more aware of the need, he says.

– Also, in the past, we were perhaps more head over heels when booking interpreters in an emergency, because we didn’t know what kind of interpreter we would get. But with TikkTalk the quality seems to be as promised: serious and at a high level.

Read more: Helse Førde and TikkTalk’s pilot project is now live

The anaesthetist explains that the hospital still uses phone interpreters frequently, but that they want to increase their use of video interpretation.

– When we are booking interpreters on a short notice, it’s usually over the phone. Additionally, phone use is probably a bit habitual. People are not used to being able to get video interpreters, he says.

TikkTalk delivered interpreters for 191 assignments for Helse Førde in 2017. Nine out of ten assignments were conducted by interpreters registered with level 1-3 in the Norwegian National Register of Interpreters – and as much as 97 per cent of assignments were conducted by interpreters with level 1-5. In comparison, private interpretation agencies delivered level 1-5 interpreters in only 17 per cent of assignments, while municipal interpretation services delivered level 1-5 interpreters in only 47 per cent of assignments, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (IMDi).

– We are very pleased with the interpreters we are getting. Everything is working as expected so far, Halvorsen concludes.

Anestesilege Gregers Halvorsen fra Helse Førde

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