Phone Interpreters Available For Patients
Patients with limited-English speaking skills can now use telephone interpreters to help them consult with Rite Aid pharmacists in more than 175 languages. The free phone service, developed in conjunction with Language Line Services, launched nationally in May.
“We have a very diverse customer base and this service will certainly help our limited-English speaking customers clearly understand the information they receive from our pharmacies,” says Robert Thompson, senior vice president of pharmacy operations. “Interpreters can assist in explaining instructions, side effects and precautions for medications in their preferred language and also may assist in reducing potential medication usage errors.”
To access the service, patients use a phone located at the pharmacy counter while the pharmacist uses a phone in the pharmacy to call an interpreter and begin a three-way conversation. Some stores instead have a dual handset phone at the pharmacy counter so that the pharmacist and patient can use the same phone to call the interpreter. Pharmacy teams can use a brochure to help explain to patients that the service is available to them.
The addition of interpretation services enhances the systems Rite Aid already has in place for customers to receive prescription information printed in their choice of 11 different languages. Approximately 1.2 million Rite Aid customers have requested printed prescription directions in a language other than English.