Spokane hospitals use online interpreters

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SPOKANE — When two Providence Health hospitals in Spokane need help with patients who don't speak English they often are clicking onto an online interpretation service.

Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital use the Columbus, Ohio, based Language Access Network. It's used by 30 Providence facilities in the West.

It connects doctors and staff with medically trained interpreters on a video screen.

The Spokesman-Review reports the languages most in demand in Spokane are Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The hospitals also still use some in-person translators who are often better but are more expensive and not always quickly available.