Why do you hate video remote interpreting (vri)????

gtanner

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NexTalk is working on the next generation VRI system and I was hoping you would give me some feedback on your experience with the VRI systems that you have used. VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) is quickly growing as an alternative to on-site interpreting, especially in heathcare. While I know there are those that prefer on-site interpreters and don't like VRI at all, I m hoping there you will be willing to share your VRI experience with me and tell me what you didn't like about your VRI experience. Armed with this information, we hope to improve the experience.

ACCESS Remote Interpreting Logo.png
 

radioman

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its easy. many doctors see it as way save money and scheduling issues. BUT!!!! its rarely tested in real live situations. the doctors networks is SO POOR that the video is terrible. When you meet and setup - its shown in his office or front area . its not tested in patient rooms, hallways, radiologies areas, etc.
when you have a emotional situation the terp could not hear or understand the signee. what if you have a interpreter that is good with asl but you have a deaf person that needs a CDI as well. the doctor has no way of understanding this. how can you combine vri with cdi?
i cannot go into details as the case is still on going but a deaf man has passed away in rochester because of no CDI, but had vri. did not have constant interpreters. he was bled to death and nurses were notified but they dismissed it - thinking the deaf person trying to inform the nurse is overreacting . was it a communication issue or what? dunno .

the point is vri is NOT available instantly when needed until a certified live interpreter shows up in hospital environment. it shouldnt be used as a replacement for regular doctor appts except for remote areas where interpreters cannot get to. i hate using VRI but rather have VRI then NO interpreters at all.
The other problem is when a request for interpreters were made but something fell through the cracks the deaf persons feels powerless when a live person is preferred or needed. there is no sense of control when vri is not helping due to placement, poor video, asl used when SEE is preferred, cdi needed, etc.

VRI is has a niche - but it hasn't found it's place yet without pissing off doctors AND deaf needs.
 

Beowulf

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I went through the VRI experience four times and the first three times were fails because of some bugs. The last time, though, was awesome, since we wheeled the VRI down hallways to a room for a simple blood draw. It almost felt like walking with R2D2. Other than that, no comment.
Somebody will build a better mousetrap.
 

SneakerNet

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The biggest problem is the network speed and many have outdated wifi. Once the video get real choppy, then it is no good.
 

gtanner

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Radioman, I understand that on-site is the preferred methodology for you and many others in the deaf community, but the trend seems to be moving away from on-site and towards VRI. Not saying this is right, just stating what I am seeing.

In a way, on-site interpreters have done this to themselves. They charge the hospital for travel time and a minimum of two hours of service, even if they only provide interpreting for 10 minutes. This reminds me of what happened in the Relay industry. Relay companies focused on the money and not on the needs of the customer, resulting in fraud, deception and dishonesty. Sadly, the Deaf community is the one who paid the ultimate price.

I also understand about the CDI issue. NexTalk markets our remote interpreting solution as fully ADA compliant because we are the only one that includes communication options for patients who get admitted to a room. When a deaf person gets admitted to a room, VRI no longer works. Our solution includes 5 communication functions that a deaf person can use in a room...including a dedicated "Call Nurses Station" feature.

So...If my observations are correct, and VRI is going to be used more and more in hospitals and clinics, then I want to make sure the NexTalk solution address as many of the needs of the Deaf community as possible.

I agree that, generally speaking, inconsistent bandwidth is a major problem. Many hospitals use their guest network for their VRI solution. This results in spotty performance. A session on Monday may be perfect, while increased traffic on the guest network makes a session on Tuesday choppy and dithered. The issue here is packet loss. Most solutions can only survive a 5% packet loss before the video quality starts to suffer. We have just finished implementing a new video engine that will allow us 20% packet loss before we start to see any effects on quality. We are hopeful this will resolve the choppy, dithering issue.

Thanks again for the feedback....please keep it coming.

Gary

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authentic

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Imagine when you're in gynecologist appointment and doctor forgot to rotate VRI during the examination. VRI= major failure.
 

Beowulf

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One can refuse VRI service and insist on a live interpreter, right?
 

Beowulf

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Sorry for my reply. I was just angry.
But then, if more Deaf folk stand up to resist, maybe we can change the future.
If we cannot decide what is best for us, human presence or a robotic one, then God help us all.
 

gtanner

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Beowulf.

The hospital is required to provide a solution. It is up to them to determine what that solution is. So a deaf person can ask for an on-site interpreter if that is what they want, but there is no guarantee that the hospital will honor that request. The hospital is the one who fits the bill for that service, so they will view it based on their costs. Again, not saying that is how it should be, just telling it how it is.
 

Beowulf

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Beowulf.

The hospital is required to provide a solution. It is up to them to determine what that solution is. So a deaf person can ask for an on-site interpreter if that is what they want, but there is no guarantee that the hospital will honor that request. The hospital is the one who fits the bill for that service, so they will view it based on their costs. Again, not saying that is how it should be, just telling it how it is.
Thanks for the input.
I don't think the consequences/ripple effect of the VRI was studied.
I know that it is a federal law to provide an interpreter when needed, and that is all the information I need. Hah. I forget exactly how many times I used the VRI service, four or five, but it was successful only once. In the future I will insist on a human interpreter, and if they refuse, well, the law is on my side.
I am surprised no interpreters made any comments in here. If the high-tech folk have their way, interpreters will be a thing of the past, practically.
 

zephren

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.
In a way, on-site interpreters have done this to themselves. They charge the hospital for travel time and a minimum of two hours of service, even if they only provide interpreting for 10 minutes. This reminds me of what happened in the Relay industry. Relay companies focused on the money and not on the needs of the customer, resulting in fraud, deception and dishonesty. Sadly, the Deaf community is the one who paid the ultimate price.
View attachment 23770

I agree that the ridiculous live interpreter fees have been played a big part in why getting an interpreter is so difficult. I understand the need to be compensated for their time but the added travel fees and 2 hr minimum makes this unreasonable. Its like attorneys that bill for just touching your documents even if it was only to move them from the desk to the shelf.
 

KerBear

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

In a way, on-site interpreters have done this to themselves. They charge the hospital for travel time and a minimum of two hours of service, even if they only provide interpreting for 10 minutes. This reminds me of what happened in the Relay industry. Relay companies focused on the money and not on the needs of the customer, resulting in fraud, deception and dishonesty. Sadly, the Deaf community is the one who paid the ultimate price.

View attachment 23770

Hmmm. Not d/Deaf here, but HOH so I don't need or use an interpreter at this point in time, although I do sign (minimally) and am re-learning ASL to what I hope will become fluency level.

I feel the need to comment on this because I take issue with hospitals (and other social/service agencies) refusing to use in-person interpreters "because of their service charges". Of course interpreters charge for travel! Why shouldn't they? And why shouldn't they have minimum fee requirements? Just about every other profession does. Nobody balks when a doctor, medical specialist, lawyer, or IT specialist charges fees for their care, but for some reason, there's an outcry when an interpreter (for any language, not just ASL!) charges similar fees. It's ludicrous really. Let's face it: When it comes to understanding what is said, particularly in a medical situation which is already stressful for most, one needs a qualified interpreter if language is a barrier. Period. In terms of d/Deaf people, "the nurse on the ward who knows how to finger spell" doesn't usually cut it. I know. I've been that ER nurse who was described as being able to "interpret" when I only knew level 1 ASL. Despite my telling all of the staff that my poor signing skills were in no way a substitute for a real interpreter, there was always this assumption that I could interpret. NOT! It floored me. D/deaf people (or anyone who uses a different language) need a real, professional person who has the skill to not only interpret correctly, but also act professionally, with empathy and with accountability. To get someone with those qualifications costs money. It really is that simple. Expertise costs money.

When I did rural nursing years ago, I charged for my travel time. But...people were paying for my expertise and experience. Interpreters have that expertise and deserve to be paid for that! In my limited experience using a remote interpreter a handful of times with a former Deaf client, it was in no way comparable to having the skills, abilities, and empathy of a real live ASL interpreter sitting in the same room. There are so many nuances of both spoken and signed languages that need to be heard/seen one-on-one, and in my limited experience, video relay is not a great way to do that. I'm sure there are exceptions to my experience. But still, that was my experience. I felt terrible for my client whenever we had to use video relay. If it was frustrating for me, it must have been so much more so for him!!!

Gary, I realize that you are asking questions about offering a particular service that you believe in, and I think it's fantastic that you are asking people who have a great deal of knowledge about this. But, it seems to me that technology isn't always a better option, even if it is considered to more affordable. My question is this: Can we put a price on accurate communication? Personally, I don't think so.

Sorry. I had to rant. If this post comes across as angry, it's not meant that way. I just get so tired of people cutting corners at the expense of the well-being of others! I'm not suggesting you are doing that, Gary!!! And I appreciate you seeking out preferences for the community you wish to serve. That shows character and integrity.

Ok. End of rant ;)
 

Jane B.

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I do not sign so, of course, don't use either. But, in reading this thread I just got to wondering if they ever use video in the ER especially while a live interpreter is on the way in?
 

Beowulf

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KerBear, you didn't come across as angry, and I am wondering why? Lol.
You made salient points I was skimming around, but the long and short of it is your last sentence. Character and integrity. I am skimming around that as well, but trust me, the lack of them in a hospital setting sort of makes me angry. What was the name of the guy who tilted at windmills? Was he angry? Most likely not, but I wonder what would happened if more people joined his cause. Lol.
Thanks for posting because I learned quite a bit from it.
 

DeafDucky

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I do not sign so, of course, don't use either. But, in reading this thread I just got to wondering if they ever use video in the ER especially while a live interpreter is on the way in?

I have heard that this is done sometimes while waiting for an in-person interpreter ("live" interpreter makes me think live or dead? lol). Anyway... it's possible.

Hm. I wonder if VRI is possible for lecture type situations. Got to wondering about that as I may be going to a MeetUp with a potential coding bootcamp I applied to. But I don't think it would work out as there's a short presentation then there are current students at the end of their program presenting their projects to possible employers and others who may be considering the program (like me).

I'm more worried about where I'm gonna find the money to pay for the program than getting interpreters. Two of the three I've spoken with have told me me that they (or one of their campuses) has had experience with deaf students and interpreters. Amazed me and made me feel good that there ARE decent people/companies out there.
 

Barbaro

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VRI is not perfect. The biggest flaws are audio, microphone and internet issues. I had VRI a month ago when I went in surgery room for injections. I was in the customer service office to pay co-pay and discussed forms with her. She already had VRI setting up. Interpreter often asked customer service receptionist to repeat it. Receptionist had to lean closer to talk to the mic. There was noise in the background. VRI interpreter couldn't hear receptionist. Receptionist had to leave to find the source, so the noise would go away. Overlapping talk irritates VRI interpreters. While they prepped me, I had to get everyone's attention a few times and pointed a finger to the VRI, so interpreter had to explain that one person can talk at one time. I mean, I can talk, but I have a strict policy I won't speak without my hearing aids. I had to remove them and changed my clothes before they put me on the bed.
 

Reba

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VRI is not perfect. The biggest flaws are audio, microphone and internet issues. I had VRI a month ago when I went in surgery room for injections. I was in the customer service office to pay co-pay and discussed forms with her. She already had VRI setting up. Interpreter often asked customer service receptionist to repeat it. Receptionist had to lean closer to talk to the mic. There was noise in the background. VRI interpreter couldn't hear receptionist. Receptionist had to leave to find the source, so the noise would go away. Overlapping talk irritates VRI interpreters. While they prepped me, I had to get everyone's attention a few times and pointed a finger to the VRI, so interpreter had to explain that one person can talk at one time. I mean, I can talk, but I have a strict policy I won't speak without my hearing aids. I had to remove them and changed my clothes before they put me on the bed.
Good points. A live terp present has more opportunity to manage the interpreting environment to maximize communication.
 
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