Spartanburg Regional expands ‘Interpreters on Wheels’ program


One of the Upstate’s largest healthcare systems is expanding access to interpreters to better serve a widely diverse population. 

Language Solutions gives users access to 5,000 interpreters that can translate more than 200 languages. 

The app, which can be used on tablets, is accessible at any time and anywhere with access to the internet. 

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is embracing the linguistic technology. 

“We call it Interpreters on Wheels,” said Marchele Garrett, Manager of the hospital’s Diversity and Language Services. 

The hospital currently employs 21 interpreters that can translate Spanish, Russian and Sign Language. Garrett tells 7News those are the top languages barriers between patients and healthcare providers at Spartanburg Regional. 

“But we do have instances where we need Swahili,” she said. “We may need a French language that we don’t normally have a live interpreter here [for].” 

Garrett says when those instances arise the “Interpreter on Wheels” comes in handy. 

She tells 7News the Language Solutions interpreters are certified and abide by HIPAA Laws. 

With the recent acquisition of other area hospitals, Garrett says she noticed a greater need for interpreters. 

Through a grant, Garrett says the hospital purchased 10 more units. 

Now 18 units are readily available when interpreters are tied up or unable to translate. 

Garrett says that ensures patient care will never suffer due to a language barrier. 

“It’s important that we have the flexibility when that patient comes in the door, that they will be able to understand what is being said to them,” Garrett told 7News. “[Or] what is being asked of them and to figure out how we can help you get better.” 

According to Sandy Dees, with PRISMA Health in Greenville, the hospital employs 56 interpreters. They can translate Spanish, American Sign Language, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Chuj and Arabic. 

Lizz Walker, with AnMed Health in Anderson, tells 7News they employ 11 interpreters that can translate Spanish, Russian, Korean and American Sign Language. 

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