Jeff Doucette knew there had to be a better, faster and less expensive way to bring sign language interpreters to hearing-impaired patients in Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital’s Emergency Department.
“Sometimes we’d have to wait a few hours for the interpreter to arrive. And we paid an astronomical amount for service,” said Doucette, who oversaw emergency services before recently becoming chief nursing officer.
He began investigating how technology could help. Bon Secours’ telephone interpreter vendor sells a cart with a high definition camera that connects patients virtually to interpreters, but the cost for the cart was out of reach, said Doucette. So he turned to Bon Secours’ technology team. In just three weeks, the team designed a similar cart for about a quarter of the cost.
“It was a really cool project to be a part of,” said Mike Bright, who works in information technology for the health system. “I felt like I was able to directly make a difference in patients’ lives and save the organization money.”
After piloting the technology, the team began rolling it out across Bon Secours Virginia, said Doucette.
“This started out as a cost-savings opportunity,” he said. “But it became a story about partnering with our incredibly resourceful and creative colleagues and vendors.
“As a Catholic health ministry, we provide holistic care. To do that, we must respond to each patient’s unique needs. This technology makes it a little easier for us to do that for our hearing-impaired patients.”