Confidentiality, Privacy & Security

Google translation App

  • 1.  Google translation App

    Posted 12-13-2018 11:46
    Hello.
    Does anyone have any insight or reference suggestions on how secure the use of particularly, Google translator app, but generally, all the new technology is or is not? We have a policy of no use of unsecure apps, but what would be the suggestion if a family wanted to use the translator app? Would an authorization form cover the lack of secure platform?
    Any expertise and direction would be appreciated.

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    Deborah Lollie, RHIT
    Health Information Coordinator
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  • 2.  RE: Google translation App

    Posted 12-13-2018 19:01
    Generally, I'd say it'd be better to at least have a translator ​(actual person) as, especially with more technical stuff things get lost in translation, which can be dangerous. At my facility I believe policy is for out translator to at least spell out the form used if the family wants to do their own translating (like son/daughter for a parent).

    In terms of security, I would say it isn't for our purposes (at least the general one), as google does do tracking and logging to improve the translation program.

    If the family themselves want to use it, I would lean toward a similar situation as if they want a family member to translate for the patient at the least. As I type this, the more I think is a bad idea (There is an artist on YouTube that sings popular/Disney songs that have been through a translator a few times and is interesting). Online translators are kinda accurate, but how much would you trust yours, or a patient's health to "kinda" accurate. Medical Terminology has a lot of similar words, that I don't know how accurate they will differentiate it. However, the patient's have a right to autonomym, so because I think it's ill advised for a patient to use it, doesn't neccesarily mean they shouldn't be allowed to make that choice.

    This is just my 2c though. Wish you luck.

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    Cody Todd
    Health Info Svs Specialist
    Mercy Hospital Springfield
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  • 3.  RE: Google translation App

    Posted 12-14-2018 12:33
    In addition to the security of the app and the compliance of its use... if you want to use Google translate for interpretive services remember there may be applicable ACA requirements to consider as well.

    Below is part of the relevant section of ACA and an excerpt of the OCR comments.

    Section 1557:

    Qualified interpreter for an individual with limited English proficiency means an interpreter who via a remote interpreting service or an on-site appearance:

    (1) Adheres to generally accepted interpreter ethics principles, including client confidentiality;

    (2) has demonstrated proficiency in speaking and understanding both spoken English and at least one other spoken language; and

    (3) is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressly, to and from such language(s) and English, using any necessary specialized vocabulary, terminology and phraseology.

    OCR comments:

    We noted that the fact an individual has above average familiarity with speaking or understanding a language other than English does not suffice to make that individual a qualified interpreter for an individual with limited English proficiency.

    As we stated in the proposed rule, bilingual or multilingual staff members may not possess competence in the skill of interpreting nor have knowledge of generally accepted principles of interpreter ethics. A qualified bilingual/multilingual nurse who is competent to communicate in Spanish directly with Spanish-speaking individuals may not be a qualified interpreter for an individual with limited English proficiency if serving as an interpreter would pose a conflict of interest with the nurse's treatment of the patient.



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    Lindsay Daniel
    HIPAA Compliance Officer
    East Tennessee State University
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  • 4.  RE: Google translation App

    Posted 12-14-2018 12:41
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Appreciate your input. Have a wonderful holiday season!
    Deb






  • 5.  RE: Google translation App

    Posted 12-14-2018 18:11
    Another thing that just occurred to me, that if as a facility you wish to use Google's translate, you may want to look at their ToS. While many are good for personal use, for commercial use there may be restrictions/fees/liscenses that you may be forced to follow.​

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    Cody Todd
    Health Info Svs Specialist
    Mercy Hospital Springfield
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