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Queensland Health Interpreter Service - Video remote interpreting

video remote interpreting

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What is video remote interpreting?

  • Video remote interpreting uses videoconferencing technology to provide you with an interpreter when an onsite interpreter is not available or when a telephone interpreter is not suitable (eg. if you are deaf,  have trouble hearing or have a mental health appointment).
  • Video remote interpreting allows you to see and talk to your interpreter without being in the same room, or even the same city.

Video remote interpreting - information for patients

How does it work?

  • A TV or computer screen, a small camera and a microphone is used to transmit your picture and voice to the interpreter. The same equipment is used to transmit the interpreter's picture and voice back to you.
  • You can talk directly with the interpreter on the screen.
  • You will be in a private room with your health professional and any support people you bring to the appointment. The interpreter will also be sitting in a private room.
  • You will be informed if anyone else is in the room with the interpreter. You can tell the health professional if you do not want anyone in the room with the interpreter.

How secure and private is video remote interpreting?

  • Any conversations you have through a video remote interpreter will be private and confidential.
  • Queensland Health has very strict privacy rules. Queensland Health staff, and interpreters that work for us, are required to treat your information confidentially.

How will I know what to do?

  • When you arrive, someone will be there to help prepare you for your appointment.
  • You will be taken into a room with videoconference equipment
  • You will be shown where to sit in front of the camera
  • The health professional will sit near you
  • You will be able to choose if you want to see yourself on the screen
  • The health professional will dial the interpreter and you will be able to see them on the screen
  • You will have a brief discussion with the health professional and the interpreter prior to proceeding to make sure you are comfortable and able to see and understand each other clearly
  • Once everyone is comfortable the appointment will start
  • The interpreter will talk with you and the health professional as if you were with them in the same room.

Auslan/sign language

The TV or computer screen is a two-dimensional picture.

You may need to:

  • position your hands so the interpreter can see them clearly
  • slow down your finger spelling
  • use a slightly larger signing space (you can work this out with the interpreter at the time).

What are my options with video remote interpreting?

  • Queensland Health has provided you with a video remote interpreter because they were unable to book an onsite interpreter for your appointment.
  • You can refuse to use a video remote interpreter.
  • You can end the appointment at any time if you feel uncomfortable.

What can I expect?

You can expect to:

  • be respected if you refuse a video remote interpreter
  • have a carer, friend, family member or guardian present at the appointment
  • always be introduced to everyone in the appointment
  • chose to end the appointment at any time
  • receive the same standard of care that you would from an onsite interpreter
  • receive health care that respects your privacy and confidentiality
  • receive care from health care providers who are educated and trained to use the Telehealth equipment and to conduct video remote interpreting appointments.


Last updated: 30 August 2010