UMass Memorial Health Integrates Interpretation App Into Epic EHR

Feb. 21, 2024
From Epic's Haiku, Canto or Rover app, clinicians can launch LanguageLine's app with the patient's information and preferred language already selected

UMass Memorial Health (UMMH) has integrated a language interpretation app into its Epic EHR to provide on-demand access to a network of 20,000 medical interpreters for more than 240 languages. 

The LanguageLine SMART-on-FHIR-based app is embedded directly in the Epic charting application used broadly for patient appointments, which the company says streamlines processes and enhances care for diverse populations in UMMH's areas of service.

In 2023, Worcester, Mass.-based UMMH patients spoke 108 different languages, leading to over six million minutes of interpretation. LanguageLine Solutions says its 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, which delivers a record of the patient's interpretation history. For UMMH, LanguageLine said it developed a flexible method that allows 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 Eric Alper, M.D., chief quality officer and chief clinical informatics officer at UMMH, in a statement. "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, the company said. Video and audio-only formats are offered, and no appointment is required. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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 Epic integration is a testament to the power of partnership," LanguageLine President and CEO Scott W. Klein said in a statement. "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."

UMass Memorial Health is the largest nonprofit health system in Central Massachusetts with 17,000 employees and 2,100 physicians. Its system includes UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Memorial Health – Harrington, UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial Health – Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Health – Community Healthlink, and UMass Memorial Medical Group.


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