Nimdzi Report


Healthcare Interpreting ROI

The need for medical interpreting

“Qualified medical interpreters play a role in reducing health care costs…Patients with limited English proficiency who communicate through interpretershave a 1.5-day shorter length of stay in the hospital, on average, than patients who do not.”


According to the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 26 million US residents who speak English less than very well. These individuals account for 8 percent of the current US population but this percentage is projected to grow to 19 percent by 2050.

In 2015, the Center for Disease Control estimated that there were 140 million ED visits throughout the United States, resulting in 12 million hospital admissions. That same year, there were over 125 million outpatient hospital visits. When we apply these numbers to the LEP population, there were potentially 11 million LEP patient ED visits that year resulting in just under 900,000 admissions and 10 million LEP outpatient visits – did someone say communication gap?

About Nimdzi:

An American perspective – from “sea to shining sea”

The language services industry is growing and there is no end in sight. For a language services company to dominate the competition and be ahead of the game, you require insight – and that is exactly where Nimdzi comes in. We come from diverse backgrounds in the language industry. We are a market research and international consulting company made up of analysts, consultants, LSP experts, and researchers. But we are all connected with one united goal – Helping our clients succeed.

And yes. We know this industry.

Information contained in this report

  1. TL;DR
  2. Shedding light on length of stay and 30-day readmission
  3. Adverse events due to miscommunication
  4. Professional vs ad hoc interpreting
  5. Readmission penalties
  6. Diagnostic errors
  7. Patient satisfaction packs a punch
  8. Interpreting modality preferences
  9. The truth about fill rate
  10. Think BIG
  11. Recommendations

Data Sample :
Findings in the US have shown that professional interpreting services help to decrease lengths of stay and reduce readmission rates. In the following 3-year study that focused on the impact of interpreting services on length of stay and 30-day readmission rates, researchers concluded that:

  • LEP patients who received interpreting services were less likely to be readmitted within 30 days than patients who didn’t receive any interpreting services, and;
  • LEP patients who did not receive professional interpreting services had an increase in their length of stay of between 0.75 and 1.47 days:

30-day readmission rates

  • No Interpreter – 24.3% 24.3% 24.3%
  • Interpreter at admission only – 16.9% 16.9% 16.9%
  • Interpreter at discharge only – 17.6% 17.6% 17.6%
  • Interpreter at admission and discharge 14.9% 14.9% 14.9%

Length of Stay (days)

  • 3.33 DAYS – Interpreter at admission only
  • 5.05 DAYS – No Interpreter
  • 2.82 DAYS – Interpreter at discharge only
  • 2.57 DAYS – Interpreter at admission and discharge

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