Establishing the viability of videoconferencing as a method of increasing access to interpreters at Western Health

Ms Anna  Novak1

1Western Health , St Albans Road, Australia


Language services at Western Health receive approximately 3500 requests for interpreters per month. One of the challenges is access to interpreters 24 hours a day, at short notice,  across multiple locations.  Video conferencing is a potential solution to  improve access for CALD patients and improve  patient experience. This project is funded the DHHS in partnership with Language Loop.  Language Loop (interpreting service) developed a  application for video interpreting called VideoLoop The app is available on designated ipads for video calls.

The aims of this project is to scope videoconferencing as an adjunct to established services such as face-to-face interpreting and telephone interpreting, in areas where gaps have been identified.

Aim one (access):

  • Occasions of interpreting service delivered by videoconferencing

Aim two (acceptability of technology)

  • Inbuilt rating/feedback system in the videoconferencing app and patient feedback after each call.

Initial results will focus on user acceptance and quality of video interpreting. This will include feedback from clinicians and patients about their experience using videoconferencing.

Video Conferencing has been rolled out to community maternity clinics and after-hours maternity clinics.

Outcomes and preliminary findings:
To date there have been almost 100 calls, the application has been useful in reducing wait times for interpreters and improved patient experience when compared to phone interpreting. However there have been challenges with interpreter availability during peak business hours.  Data collection is ongoing and the trial is progressing.


I have 15 years’ experience working in the acute health service as a podiatrist specialising in management of diabetic foot complications. During this time I have conducted multiple small projects to improve access and services to these patients. This is my first large scale organisational wide project.