At times, it worked, as the service was more accurate when translating the exit instructions from the emergency department into Spanish.
But often, it isn’t, especially with less common languages, and the study found it was only 55 percent accurate for the Armenian language.
This is a big problem when it comes to health information and medical instructions, as any misunderstanding can be dangerous.
Study author Lisa Diamond, a researcher in health inequalities at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, says: All you need is one mistake that creates confusion for the patient, so they don’t take blood thinners or take too much blood thinners and you end up with a medical emergency.
Federal guidelines state that hospitals and healthcare institutions must provide interpreters and interpreters for patients who do not speak English.
The guidelines are designed to fill a vital need, as these patients are at greater risk of medical complications because they may not understand medical instructions given by doctors.
However, in practice, many hospitals do not offer interpreters for every patient who needs one, as it is expensive, and many healthcare groups struggle with the cost.
And if the hospital had interpreters among the staff or had a subscription to a telephone interpretation service for verbal communication, they were unlikely to have a way to translate written instructions.
There is a clear gap in the ability to present written information to patients, says (Breena Taira), associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at UCLA Health and co-author of the study.
Tyra says it has become increasingly common for doctors to google translate in the medical community.
The new study evaluated 400 exit instructions from the emergency department, which Google Translate translated into seven different languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Armenian and Farsi.
The native speakers read the translations and rate their accuracy, and overall, the translated instructions were more than 80 percent accurate.
This is an improvement over 2014, when an analysis found that Google Translate was accurate Less than 60 percent Regarding medical information.
The new analysis found that accuracy varies between languages, as Google Translate was more than 90 percent accurate for Spanish.
Accuracy rates in Tagalog, Korean and Chinese ranged from 80 to 90 percent.
And there was a big drop in Persian, which was accurately 67 percent, and Armenian, which was accurately 55 percent.
In one example, Google Translate converted the phrase “You can take ibuprofen as needed according to pain” into “You can use an anti-tank missile as much as you need for pain” in Armenian.
Also, languages that are usually accurate, such as: Spanish and Chinese, can contain errors in Google translation that may confuse patients.
“Your level of Coumadin is very high today, do not take more Coumadin until your doctor reviews the results, and it was translated into Chinese as follows,” Your soybean level was very high today, do not take beans. Soy any longer until your doctor reviews the results.
One of the main problems with relying on machine translation is that it cannot interpret the context, Diamond says, and the program may not recognize the word as a drug name.
Machine translation software might improve to the point where it can accurately and safely translate medical information, but depending on how they operate now, that is still a long way off.