Although an apple a day won’t hurt, accurate pharmaceutical translation is probably a surer way to stay healthy.
But when pharmacies use computers to handle the translation of prescription labels, understanding your medication’s instructions can be a tough pill to swallow.
Using real medical linguists to handle pharmaceutical translation — with maybe a spoonful of sugar, for good measure — is a good way to help the medicine go down nice and easy.
It’s Not Only a Good Idea — It’s the Law!
Well, sometimes. Chain pharmacies in New York City, for example, are already legally required to provide free pharmaceutical translation and interpretation to customers.
When expanding or implementing translation and interpretation services for customers, using professional, human linguists instead of machines is the wiser — and safer — option. Studies have shown that pharmacies that use computers to handle prescription label translation often end up with labels that are confusing, incorrect and potentially hazardous to one’s health.
Professional translators and interpreters with a background in the medical field are bound to produce more accurate pharmaceutical translations than machines. With their combination of knowledge and experience, professional medical translators and interpreters will have a greater understanding of the format and language of prescription labels and will be able to communicate more effectively with customers.
Better Customer Service Makes for Better Business
Pharmacists regularly interact with customers who speak English as a second language or don’t speak English at all. When serving a multilingual community it’s important to meet all their needs. And sometimes — as it is in New York City — it’s also a pharmacy’s legal obligation.
Accurate pharmaceutical translation is a way to make sure your customers maintain good health and aren’t left wondering how to take their medication. By using a professional medical translation service to handle your pharmaceutical translation needs, you can be more confident that important medical information is accurately communicated to your customers.
If your customers have questions about their medication, you’ll want to be able to answer them in a language they’ll completely understand. Securing the services of professional medical interpreters will allow your pharmacists to communicate with all of your customers, and your customers will be more likely to feel comfortable coming to your pharmacy to ask questions.
Better Translation Makes for Better Customer Service
If you are a customer, you should be aware of how the pharmacy you use fulfills its pharmaceutical translation and interpretation obligations.
The pharmacy that uses a professional medical translation service is more likely to have properly translated information on each prescription label than one that uses computers. Properly translated prescription labels help you, the customer, understand the correct dosage and potential side effects of the medication you’re taking.
You should also feel free to ask your pharmacist any questions you may have regarding your prescription, even if the label is translated properly. A capable pharmacy should be able to understand and answer your questions to ensure there’s no misunderstanding about your medicine.
If you are more comfortable speaking in another language, confirm that your pharmacy has professional medical interpreters available, either in person or by phone, to make handling any questions you may have as easy a process as possible.
Customers who are well-served are more likely to develop confidence in a pharmacy, which can result in repeat and expanded business. Through accurate pharmaceutical translation, both customers and pharmacies are taking good care of their health.