September 8, 2017
Even the healthcare industry needs translation metrics – but why? Healthcare companies spend more than $5 million on localisation

Translation performance metrics are important for the healthcare industry. It’s a sector which has faced a great deal of scrutiny from certification and regulatory bodies over the years and it spends in excess of $5 million per year on localisation.

From technical materials to clinical trial content, packaging, labeling, patient instructions, software and more, materials must be reviewed meticulously for multilingual content workflow.

In addition, the healthcare industry is increasingly expected to provide cost-effective translation services for limited English proficiency patients. It’s well-known that insufficient access to information and healthcare services can negatively impact the quality of healthcare and have severe consequences.

How translation metrics can benefit healthcare companies

The CSA recommends that healthcare companies consider several points when benchmarking against competitors or creating their own metrics dashboards:

1. What must be measured?

Healthcare companies should determine which metrics are needed so as to meet the challenges presented by each metric. For example:

  • Do you need to ramp up Eastern European languages and product adaptations for new markets?
  • Is there a good chance the company will be acquired within the next 12 months?

2. Let LSPs Help

According to research conducted by the CSA, healthcare companies expect LSPs to be reliable advisors. So, the companies should reach out to their LSP for their expertise in benchmarking or creating a translation metrics dashboard.

3. Mainstream Metrics

Often, translation budgets struggle to keep up with the requirements for local coverage, which is why language services need to be measured as well. This will ensure funding stays consistent for translation and localisation.

What can LSPs learn about translation metrics in the healthcare industry?

People in healthcare companies who buy language services report that quality is slightly more important than cost is. These buyers expect LSPs to be specialised in their respective industries and to focus on expansion into Asian markets.

There are various ways an LSP can use metrics to improve their services to this industry, such as:

  • Make metrics a separate service. Take your metrics knowledge and package it as a specialised service. You can use metrics as a springboard from which to offer translation process audits, too.
  • Think differently about metrics. Besides cost, turnaround times, and volume, think about what else you can track for clients in this industry. Perhaps you can measure the quality of the source content or compliance regulations in target markets. Identify a few key areas where you can make your services stand out.
  • Prepare clients for acquisition. There’s a lot of consolidation going on in this industry, and markets continue to expand in terms of product adoption and clinical trials. Prepare your clients for mergers by supporting their language service teams, making metrics easily accessible, and making sure you have the data which proves your ability to handle such expansions.

Metrics should form the core of your services

Whether you’re a buyer of translations and localisations or an LSP, metrics should always be right at your fingertips so as to shift focus away from the cost of such services and back to revenue enablement and return on investment. If you don’t have a metrics dashboard yet, it’s time to start creating one.