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By: Doug On: August 22, 2016 In: Medical, Translation Comments: 0

Your medical records — a running history of your health — are vitally important documents that must receive proper translation whenever it is required.

Whether you’re pursuing insurance claims in another country or you suffer an injury while traveling abroad, the doctors, lawyers and corporations you interact with need to know what happened, and in a language they understand.

Enlisting the services of a professional translation company to accurately translate your medical records can help you avoid costly mistakes and make sure your history of health remains, well, healthy.

Receiving Medical Treatment in Another Country

People are traveling internationally more and more frequently these days, be it for pleasure, for business, or for specialized medical treatment. And no matter the purpose, there’s always the possibility of being injured or becoming sick and requiring medical treatment while in a foreign country.

If you pay a visit to a doctor or undergo a medical procedure in another country, you may need to have your medical records translated prior to the operation — English might be considered a lingua franca, but it’s hardly universal.

The hospital you visit will need a complete understanding of your history to avoid complications, and for that, your medical records need to be translated into the local language. Following treatment, the doctor may also issue discharge instructions that may need to be translated into English before you can follow them and properly recover.

By the same token, upon returning home, you may need to have your foreign-language medical records translated in order to continue to receive treatment from your regular doctor. A doctor should have a full knowledge of a patient’s medical history.

Translating Medical Records for Legal Purposes

If you receive treatment as the result of an accident abroad and need to hold another party legally accountable, or if you need to submit a claim to your insurer, your medical records are vital documents.

If hospital records or incident reports are issued in another language, they will need to be translated into the language(s) of the relevant courts and/or insurance companies in order to process them and properly assess their validity.

Similarly, if an injury is the subject of a lawsuit and the matter is taken to court, translated copies of medical records will be necessary. You will probably need the original, foreign language documents translated in order for them to be reviewed by your lawyer and doctor. Subsequent medical evaluations will also probably have to be translated into the language of the ruling court.

If you travel abroad to receive specialized medical treatment or pay a visit to the local doctor while on vacation, your insurer will probably need translated copies of your medical records. This not only enables them to process your claims but also protects them from fraud and accurately maintains your medical history.

Keep in mind that translated documents submitted to a court of law must be certified before they can be accepted. Certification turns the translation into a legal document, and confirms that the translation meets the standards of the court. Certification is sometimes necessary outside of legal settings as well, so make sure you find out ahead of time whether your insurance company or workplace requires a certified translation.

Professional Translation of Medical Records

When health care documentation appears in more than one language, attention to detail is more important than ever. Since medical records are likely to be translated in order to continue further treatment and/or settle a claim of liability, it is imperative that they be accurate.

Because of the specialized vocabulary used in medical records it is best that they are translated by professionals with both linguistic and medical expertise.

Professional medical translators will be fluent in the terminology used in medical records in both the original and target languages. Their specialized training allows them to produce a more accurate translation than a computerized translation program or someone who’s merely familiar with both languages but not medical terminology.

No matter the reason, be it legal or purely medical, the translation of  medical records should be performed by professionals in order to help prevent potentially disastrous mistakes and help make sure your medical history maintains a clean bill of health.

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