Healthdirect Australia Help Center

    Interpreter workflows

    What Video Call platform role do I need: Team member, Team Administrator, Organisation Administrator

    You may want to add an interpreter to your call and this can be done in several ways.

    When using interpreters you can develop your own processes to make it an efficient and effective workflow for your service. It depends on what works best for your service and your patients. This page offers some suggestions and guidelines based on the processes several health organisations have incorporated into their telehealth clinical practice.

    Using an interpreter service

    Your organisation may use an interpreter service regularly or you may have in-house interpreters, and you can work with them to develop processes for bookings and provide them with links to the required clinic waiting areas. Interpreters will need to know what information you want them to provide as they are starting a video call so they are easily identifiable in the clinic Waiting Area. Interpreters also need training in how to prepare for and participate in a Video Call.

    If you use, or would like to use, TIS National or ezispeak for interpreting services please click below for more information (these are just two of the available interpreting options):

    TIS National (Translating and Interpreting Service)

    The Department of Home Affairs has enabled interpreters working for the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) to participate in video consultations. TIS National assists patients for whom English is not a first language. Healthdirect Australia worked with South Brisbane PHN, the Refugee Health Network, and TIS National to drive the enablement of video capability for the 2000 TIS translators involved in health consultations. Medical practitioners billing through Medicare and NGOs can access TIS interpreters at no cost by registering to become a TIS National Client.


    When TIS interpreters are booked they will need the clinic waiting area link - the one you send to patients for their appointments. Below is an example of information you can include when booking the interpreter:

    The interpreter clicks on the link just before the appointment time of the person they will be interpreting for and puts in their details. Interpreters shouldn't simply put in their name only of the name of the client, rather we suggest they do something like the process below so they can be easily identified in the waiting area:

    • Click on the clinic link 5 minutes before their booking time
    • In the first Name field inter 'Interpreter'
    • In the second name field enter '[their name] for 'patient name] - eg 'Jude Cobb for Sue Smith'
    • Enter their phone number
    • Click continue to arrive in the waiting area.

    Then the service provider locates the interpreter and joins the call, then adds the patient to the call from the waiting area.


    ezispeak interpreter service

    If you have an account with ezispeak for provision of language services you may be interested in our ezispeakhealth Add-on. This enables clinicians to add an on demand interpreter to their video call as needed.

    Identifying the interpreter

    You can specify with the interpreter service the information you need the interpreter to provide as they start the call and it is helpful if they provide their name, the patient's name and the language they will be interpreting as well as their phone number. This way the service provider can clearly see who they are and will know which patient's call to add them to. There are a couple of ways to do this using the entry fields for the caller when they start a video call:

    Option 1

    Start video call: Interpreter first name field is their full name and their language. The second name is the full name of the patient. All the information is seen in the waiting area under Caller. 


    This is how the interpreter information will look in the waiting area. In this example the name of the patient requiring the interpreter is John Longo.

    Option 2

    Clinic admin configures extra caller entry fields in the Interpreter clinic. 


    The extra caller entry fields can be viewed in the waiting area dashboard columns if they have been set by the clinic admin as viewable by default.
    If they have not been set in the default view, you can edit the columns you view using the pen icon.

    You can also find this caller information by going to the 3 dots to the right of the caller's card and selecting Activity.


    Scenarios and functionality

    Please click on the various scenarios below to find out more about the available workflows.

    Interpreter and patient in the same waiting area

    The Clinician joins the call with the patient and adds the interpreter to the call (or vice versa) from the dashboard. In an interpreter and clinician first workflow the clinician would join the interpreter first and then add the patient to the call - as you would normally add a participant. The call then continues with 3 participants.

    Interpreter arrives in specific interpreter waiting area

    Some organisations may wish to set up a specific interpreter waiting area. In this case a designated team member with access to the interpreter clinic checks their details and transfers the call to the waiting area where the patient will be seen. You can transfer a call without joining the call (cold) or after joining the call (warm).

    Cold Transfer: Check the interpreter details they have typed in and click on Transfer. 
    In the transfer window, select the clinic you want to transfer the call to - the one the patient will be seen in and click Transfer. Once transferred, the interpreter will arrive in the new waiting area.
    Note: Only waiting areas that you are a member of (as a team member or referrer) will be available to transfer to.
    Warm Transfer: Join the call with the interpreter and check in with them. 
    Click on Call Manager and then click Transfer call to transfer them from within the call.
    Select the clinic you want to transfer the call to (you must be either a team member or referrer in the clinic to have access to it). Then confirm the transfer.
    After the call is transferred the team member who has performed the transfer leaves the call by clicking on the Hang Up button and selecting Leave call. The interpreter is put on hold in the new waiting area where they can be joined by the clinican, or added to the call with the patient and clinician, depending on your workflow.

    Join the call with both and put on hold for the clinician

    If the interpreter and the patient are waiting in the same waiting area and you would like to join them together in a call for the clinician to join at the time of the appointment, you can follow this workflow. A designated team member joins the call with the interpreter and then adds the patient to the call - or join the patient first depending on your workflow. The team member then leaves the call, putting the patient and interpreter on hold together.

    Join the call with the interpreter and then add the patient to the call as you would normally add a participant.
    You can add the patient first if desired but adding the interpreter first may help the patient communicate with you more easily from the beginning.
    Once both interpreter and patient are in the call together, leave the call by clicking on the Hang Up button and selecting Leave Call.

    This will put them on hold together for the clinician to join when ready - this way the clinician joins the call with both participants at the same time.

    Invite the interpreter into the current patient call

    When in the call with a patient that requires an interpreter, you can use Call Manager to invite a participant to the current call via email or SMS. Please note: You will need the interpreter contact details for this workflow.

    From within the call window, click on Call Manager and then click on Invite participant.
    Choose whether you would like to invite them via email or SMS, fill out their details and click on Invite. When the interpreter clicks on the invitation link they will come directly into the call.

    Using pre-populated links to provide easy access to the required Waiting Area

    Pre-populated links allow an interpreter easy access to the required Video Call clinic waiting area. Providing interpreters with a link that is pre-populated with the required information will make the process easy to navigate.

    Pre-populated links are usually system generated rather that done manually so if you have any questions regarding setting these up please contact the Video Call team.

    You can provide your interpreter service with a link they can modify to include the interpreter's name, the patient's name and the language they will be interpreting as well as their phone number. You can also modify the clinic URL in the link so they go directly to the correct Waiting Area.


    Tip: the interpreter's name, patient name and language can all be added to the name field to make it very clear to the service provider who this interpreter needs to join.


    It is recommended that the interpreter service formulates the URL for each particular interpreter session. Once the link has been set up it can be shared with the booked interpreter, along with the appointment time and any relevant patient information. The bookings, including appointment time and assigned interpreter, could be handled using a shared calendar or through individual calendar invitations.


    Example of a link template:

    In the example below the interpreter will be starting a video call in the telehealth1 clinic, their first name is John, their second name is Smith and their phone number is 0417845675. When they click on the link it will take them directly to the clinic without have to add any information in the start video call screen:


    https://vcc.healthdirect.org.au/t/acmehealth1/join?skipSetup=1&firstName=John&lastName=Smith&countryCode=61&additional=%257B%2522phone%2522%253A%25220417845675%2522%252C%2522terms%2522%253A%2522Accepted%2522%257D


    This is how they appear in the waiting area:


    Query Parameters for Pre-populated links 

    There are a few extra query parameters that are available to be added to the URL:
    firstName
    lastName
    countryCode
    skipSetup

    You may also add any additional fields that you have created in your clinic by adding extra parameters.
    EG, "&additional={phone"0417845675"}"




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