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In-House Translation Team vs. Professional Translation Service: Which Serves You Better?

By María Apgar | September 15, 2020 | Medical Translation | 3 Min read

Over the years, translation service companies have become an increasingly necessary resource for helping patients who don’t speak English. However, there are many healthcare organizations that still tend to rely on an in-house translation team and invest a lot of resources to maintain it.

This begs the question, which option would serve you better, an in-house translation team, or a professional translation service? Let’s take a closer look…

1. Caring for Diverse Communities

Ensuring access to quality healthcare for vulnerable communities sometimes requires that you expand your in-house translation team. However, hiring new translators with knowledge of a particular language who also have medical expertise can be time-consuming as well as hard on your budget.

By contrast, healthcare organizations that outsource translations can easily broaden the language service they provide to fit the diverse population they serve without increasing the overhead cost of setting up a new team. With no extra investment or a new in-house team, you can provide high-quality care to underrepresented communities with fewer costs.

2. Meeting Urgent Demands from Healthcare Clients

Providing an excellent standard of care to diverse communities oftentimes means having access to language resources immediately. To accommodate patients and clients on short-notice you’ll need to have reliable back-up from a dedicated team. An in-house team can surely provide you with support without delay, provided they have not already reached their maximum capacity for work. If that is the case then you may need the help of a translation partner that can work around-the-clock to meet your urgent needs.

3. Finding the Right Expertise

There might be cases when the expertise required to translate into a particular language exceeds the capabilities of your in-house team. There are many unusual and niche translation requirements that will arise, but they may not arise often enough that it makes sense to employ a specialist full-time. The unusual need might be a language that it less common, or a technical field that your translators are not familiar with. Many professional translation services will have such experts on standby in their networks. When choosing a medical translation service, you can evaluate the expertise it offers and make your decision accordingly. Outsourcing translations can help you find people who have the right knowledge with minimum investment.

4. Coordinated Project Management

One of the main reasons why healthcare organizations show resistance to outsourcing translations is the inability to work under the same roof, which leads to concerns about lack of coordination. Afterall, if you have a well-managed in-house team, you can easily establish coordinated project management with a seamless communication channel.

On the other hand, if you go for professional translation services, you need to be highly particular about the translation company you choose. A professional translation partner should provide you with a single point of contact and offer coordinated project management.

5. Trust and Accountability

Trust and accountability are important factors that, for many, make the in-house team their first choice over a translation agency. If you consider outsourcing to a professional translation service, and want to achieve a similar level of trust, you should ask certain questions like:

  • Will you meet the agreed deadlines?
  • How sure can I be about the expertise of your translators?
  • Will you follow HIPAA guidelines?
  • Do you guarantee your translations?
  • Will we sign an NDA?

These important questions related to trust and security can help you choose the right translation service provider.

Working with a translation partner can be a valuable proposition as an addition to your in-house team during times when the workload is too great or too specialized. In addition, outsourcing medical translations can help your organization serve diverse healthcare clients in an efficient and safe way without sacrificing your quality of care.

Now that you’ve had a chance to explore a comparison of the options, what would you choose, an in-house team, a professional translation service, or a combination of the two?

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