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janeiro 9, 2018 |

Why You Need a Professional for Your Medical Translations

Professional translators in the medical industry are vital. With more of us traveling and living as expats, hospitals and healthcare providers must overcome language barriers and provide quality medical translations. This way, people who don’t have proficiency in local languages can still benefit from a high standard of medical care.

Professional medical translations respect the patient’s right to be completely informed about any medical procedure he or she has to go through. They also allow patients to make and communicate decisions to their doctors without any room for misunderstanding.

When working with professional translators, doctors feel more comfortable and confident, as they don’t run the risk of being sued for not properly informing patient about procedures, and patients are sure to get the right treatment for their medical problems.

In these cases, professional medical translations not only make communication efficient, but build trust as well. These are essential elements when looking to create a solid doctor-patient relationship.

Medical Translation Requires Accuracy

Whether you need translators or interpreters, you should always look for professionals. More than in any other niche, in the medical field, working with experts is imperative, because inaccurate medical translations put people’s safety at risk.

Our lives can depend on the misuse of a word, especially when the error occurs in medical documents, such as descriptions of medical procedures or instructions for treatment. From pharma industry documents, to doctor’s notes and consent forms, you need an expert to translate medical terminology. This way, the information is accessible to all people, no matter what language they speak.

Medical translators understand medical terms in the original language and are able to transmit them in the source language without creating confusion. Because medical translation is not always a word-to-word translation, a professional translator makes sure that the audience understands the exact meaning of the message.

When working with a professional for your medical translations, you make sure that patients, doctors and all parties involved understand the implications of the medical process.

Medical translators understand cultural differences and know how to transmit important information in an accurate and impartial manner. As specialists, they have deep knowledge of medical terms in both the original and target languages.

Moreover, they develop special communication skills to be able to deliver medical knowledge with understandable words to patients with various educational backgrounds.

Competent Medical Translators Save Lives

Every piece of information in a medical document is important. A missed, substituted or added word can have negative effects and can put people’s lives at risk.

Improper translations can lead to:

  • A wrong diagnostic that can generate inappropriate treatment
  • Unexpected effects that medication has on a person, because its composition is different from what’s written on the label
  • Specialists who misuse medical equipment because instructions are incomplete or unclear
  • Patients who don’t understand the information in the consent forms and refuse treatment
  • Death, when doctors can’t understand the gravity of a patient’s symptoms

Quality medical translations are essential when looking to get or to provide high accurate services in this field. Both patients and medical institutions need to rely on professional medical translators and interpreters to communicate efficiently.

Many hospitals still prefer to use bilingual doctors or family members as translators when providing medical assistance. Yet, this is far from an effective way of generating accurate medical translations. The patient’s life is often still at risk, as bilinguals can easily misuse words and generate confusion.

Professional medical translators get special training before doing this job. They know how to communicate with the patients and doctors to make sure both parties receive all the relevant information.

They use the correct terminology and are able to adapt their vocabulary to send the right message, even when patients lack medical knowledge and can’t understand complex medical terms.

In fact, a course on medical errors prevention, by the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, mentions that the role of skilled interpreters is critical in providing healthcare to foreign patients. The document also states that doctors should respect interpreters as team members, as their abilities make communication with patients efficient and reduce possibilities for medical errors.

The Pharma Industry Needs Professional Medical Translations

If your company is in the pharmaceutical industry, you need to work with professionals when selling products outside national borders. This way, you’ll make sure that all your content is translated correctly.

Medical translations in this niche include working with specific documentation. Among others, you’ll have to translate and localize technical documents about:

  • Manufacturing processes and process controls
  • Clinical trials and reports
  • Declarations of Specifications
  • Instructions for use
  • Pharmacological studies
  • Labels

This complex job requires a precise glossary of terms, which will become the reference for all your future translations. You need to work with well prepared specialists to make sure that your translation is 100 percent accurate. Even the smallest mistake can cost you money and significant delays in launching your products.

Each country has its own laws and regulations when it comes to accepting medication in the local market. An inappropriate translation can change – at least on paper – the entire composition of your product, making it unsuitable for human consumption.

Working with general translators who have basic knowledge in the niche may help you spend less on the initial translation, but in the long run, you may have to rewrite multiple documents and double check translations to ensure you comply with local regulations. So, working with professionals for your medical translations will save you time, money and stress.

Localization Is Essential in Medical Translations

You will often need to localize your content to make sure you deliver useful information. Content that helps doctors and patients to make their best decisions and be aware of risks and possible complications.

By localizing, you adapt your content to various audiences, based on the public’s age, education and geographical position. This way, you leave less room for misinterpretations and errors, as people are able to understand instructions and labels.

A professional – preferably who lives in the target country – knows which terms to use to respect all regulations and still keep your texts easy to read for regular people. Better still, an expert in medical translation has the right skills to ensure that your documents are right and comply with local laws.

The benefits of working with a professional medical translator are obvious. Whether you need to translate a label for a new medication, a scientific article from a medical journal, or a patient’s file, having an expert working with you can mean the difference between life and death.

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