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Olean General Hospital


OGH and BRMC Introduce New Communications Tool

Posted on: 12/18/2015

printed in the Olean Times Herald - 12/29/15


OGH and BRMC Introduce New Communications Tool

Enhances Language Assistance 

Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center, member hospitals of Upper Allegheny Health System (UAHS), have rolled out a new cloud-base remote interpretation service that allows both hospitals and to meet the growing need for faster, more comprehensive help for non-English speaking and sign language dependent patients 24 -hours a day.

The new Stratus Video Remote Interpreter (VRI) service uses innovative technology to connect healthcare providers with interpreters in more than 175 spoken and signed languages on demand in less than 30 seconds. The Stratus application can be loaded onto any tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac. At OGH and BRMC, 20 IPADs have been distributed throughout the hospitals, including the Emergency Departments, admissions and on patient units and at hospitals’ satellite locations. More than 340 staff have been trained in using the Stratus application.

“This new system will enhance patient safety and quality for our patients with language barriers,” said Timothy J. Finan, President and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System, Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center. “Having this technology at our fingertips and being able to quickly and accurately provide interpretation is a great opportunity for us to deliver better patient service”. Finan said Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center are the only hospitals in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania to have the Stratus system.

When a non-English speaking or sign language dependent patient indicates they need interpreter assistance, staff show the patient a language identification card to determine the language required to help the patient. The staff then connects via IPAD to a Stratus Video Remote Interpreter, where a certified live interpreter appears within seconds on the screen from one of 30 Stratus call centers around the country.

The Stratus interpreter then interfaces directly between the patient and the staff to ensure all conversations are clearly understood. In the case of deaf and hard of hearing patients, a certified sign language interpreter appears on the screen and signs directly with the patient, conveying information between patients and staff.

In preparing for the introduction of Stratus, Olean General Hospital invited members of the deaf community to meet with hospital and Stratus staff to view a demonstration program and offer their input. “The deaf community was very receptive to the new services,” said Gail Bagazzoli, Vice President for Quality at UAHS.

Previous to the introduction of Stratus, both hospitals relied on language interpretation phone services for non-English speaking patient support and live interpreters for sign language. “The phone service was built with 2 handsets for communication. At Olean General there was a dedicated TV system with cable technology that was connected to University of Rochester for sign language interpretation, there were 5 rooms in the hospital that housed this old technology. This limited where we could admit our deaf patients,” Bagazzoli stated. “The Stratus program gives us the accessibility of all interpreter services in seconds, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week in all areas of the hospitals. We will still use community members for interpreter services if requested by the patient but our first step for immediate communication will be signing on to the Stratus Video Remote Interpreter,” she said.

Photo Caption

More than 340 staff members at OGH and BRMC are now trained in the use of new cloud-base remote interpretation service for non-English speaking and sign language dependent patients. The new IPAD application from Stratus is now in use at both hospitals.

About Stratus Video Interpreting

Stratus Video Interpreting provides on-demand interpreter services by using technology to connect clients with interpreters in over 175 spoken and signed languages in less than 30 seconds. Stratus’s cloud-based video solution delivers an array of unique features to virtually any Internet-enabled PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet. Stratus clients use the technology to connect with their own staff interpreters, as well as with Stratus interpreters, who have years of healthcare and courtroom experience and hold multiple certifications. With Stratus, state-of-the-art video remote interpreting is made available with virtually no capital investment. Stratus averages 65,000 video calls a day, up from 40,000 in mid-2013. Stratus Video is the sister company of The Z® (CSDVRS, LLC, dba ZVRS), which was established in 2006 and developed by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, setting the industry standard as the nation’s premier Video Relay Service Provider and the first VRS Provider to receive a 5-Year certification from the FCC. For more information, visit

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