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A point system helps to determine need
Translating patient education materials into foreign languages is costly; therefore, it is important to select those that would benefit the greatest number of patients. Yet without criteria to evaluate each piece, it is difficult to determine which ones should be translated. To take the guesswork out of the process, the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) in Seattle created a set of criteria. "Our criteria was put together by the patient and family education committee in 1996 and it has worked, says Etta Short, MS, a health educator in Patient and Family Education Services.
Each year, a task force uses the criteria to determine which educational materials to translate. The pieces are ranked by a point system and must receive at least 3.5 points to be considered for translation. A document may be rejected because the volume or material required is too low, a similar tool may be available in the desired language from another source, or authorship is not the UWMC.
The following are the criteria used: