Meeting a 48-hour deadline for interpretation services at a COVID-19 field hospital

Case Study 36 | VRI Healthcare


When a pandemic struck the US, this major government contractor needed a language partner that could move quickly. Here’s how United Language Group delivered critical interpreting services for limited English, deaf and hard of hearing patients.

When COVID-19 cases began to surge in the United States in the spring of 2020, this major American government contractor was tasked with the urgent assignment to convert a large urban convention center into a 400-bed field hospital specifically for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Chapter 1


It was projected that 20-25% of patients seeking care at the field hospital were hard of hearing, deaf, or Limited English Proficient (LEP) and in need of an interpreter. To ensure effective communication between these patients, their family members, and medical providers, the organization needed to partner with a language service provider that could offer an immediate and accurate remote interpretation solution.

The organization chose to partner with the United Language Group (ULG) to address the urgent task of localizing medical documents and delivering critical interpretation services.

Chapter 2


Typically, localization and remote interpretation onboarding assignments take up to 30 days to implement; however, ULG recognized the urgency of this project and created a special task force to support an accelerated timeline for the opening of the COVID-19 field hospital. This team worked around the clock and was able to rapidly deploy both Over-the-Phone (OPI) and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services.

The implementation team was comprised of executives and directors across many of ULG’s business units, including interpretation, client engagement and customer care.

The team also included a director-level employee from the Client Engagement Team, who coordinated the onboarding effort. This individual possessed a strong scientific and medical background with a Ph.D. in forensic and social psychology, along with prior experience in healthcare and clinical trials. This brought an additional dimension of expertise to the project implementation process. The collaboration across multiple business units supported the project’s accelerated timeline and ensured quality patient care.

Chapter 3


ULG’s team of experts successfully implemented the VRI and OPI services within just 48 hours. The field hospital remained open for 40 days, and over the course of that period, ULG’s interpretation team managed more than 100 calls. The services were available to patients 24/7, and calls had an average connection time of under 60 seconds. Throughout the entire process, ULG never received a complaint, and patients didn’t report any issues with using OPI and VRI services.

In addition to the expedited implementation process and accurate interpretation services provided, ULG donated 250 minutes of call time to the hospital as a sign of solidarity and support.

close chapters modal

Ready to work with a top language services company for global success?

Contact Us