Largest blood supply nonprofit in the midwest increases donations with on-demand bilingual services

CASE STUDY: Largest blood supply nonprofit in the Midwest increases donations with on-demand bilingual services

Client Profile

Versiti is a nonprofit blood supply organization that provides over 500,000 blood products annually to hospitals, medical and blood centers, and biomaterials to support research projects in five midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The organization operates 40 blood donation centers throughout this region and collects donations through community blood drives.

The Challenge

As the largest blood supplier in the Midwest, Versiti wanted to increase its diversity and inclusion in the marketplace and needed to offer on-demand bilingual Spanish services, documentation, and print materials at its donation centers. Regulatory staff were concerned that implementing multilingual services would require the addition of many highly trained bilingual medical staff to comply with the FDA and other industry regulations. In addition, the organization’s Quality Control staff required that all current English language documentation and print materials be available in Spanish. For the staff, this change meant they would need to be able to fluently communicate any critical information regarding the results of their blood screening with their Spanish-speaking donors.

Initially, Versiti tried to do this in-house. They hired Spanish-speaking staff at the corporate level and its donation centers to accommodate its needs but were consistently challenged to find qualified candidates. Though some candidates were bilingual, they lacked the level of fluency, knowledge, and understanding of grammar, multilingual listening or writing ability, and other necessary skills. Additionally, Versiti’s attempts to translate documentation and print materials in-house failed to pass regulatory review.

The Solution

After attempting to solve the problem in-house, Versiti began a search for a language services partner who could assist them. They spoke with a few different providers and chose BURG due to their comfort level with BURG’s knowledge and healthcare and hospital experience, ISO certification, responsiveness, ability to implement the program quickly, flexibility, and fast turnaround time.

Versiti needed to ensure they had staff who could communicate effectively in Spanish and could offer compliant bilingual services. BURG created a custom employee certification program based on Versiti’s specific needs and implemented industry-specific language proficiency testing for Versiti. Employees who pass BURG’s rigorous testing become certified in one or more areas, including reading comprehension, writing proficiency, and speaking and listening ability. Versiti requires qualified employees to be recertified annually.

BURG also provides translation, editing, and desktop publishing services to Versiti, working across departments to ensure their bilingual documentation and print materials are accurate, effective, and compliant. To meet Versiti’s need for bilingual employee certification and translated documents, BURG provided the following services:

The Solution

Versiti now has all donor documents translated into Spanish, language proficiency testing and certification in place for employees and volunteers, and access to on-demand interpreting services. They’ve implemented an incentive program encouraging bilingual employees to become BURG-certified. Marketing and other departments are assured quality bilingual materials due to easy access to translation and DTP services. Because of BURG’s ISO certification, Versiti’s Regulatory and Quality Assurance departments trust the partnership with BURG, resulting in smoother operations across the organization.

Since implementing bilingual Spanish services, Versiti has reached a higher population of Latinos and received over 213 blood donations, specifically from Spanish-speaking donors. They have also partnered with the Western Michigan Hispanic Center for blood drives. This resource was not previously available to them due to the lack of Spanish language materials and bilingual staff.

In addition to Spanish, BURG translates into Hindi, Burmese, Karen, and Ukranian for Versiti. Versiti is now looking to expand its language proficiency testing program and on-demand multilingual services with BURG to include other languages and increase its diversity and inclusion even more.

Versti’s recommendation to other blood centers that would like to undertake a similar initiative includes:

  • Ensuring C-level support to assist with removing roadblocks and ensuring the budget supports the initiative. Quality – make sure we had every single letter translated to a donor vs ad hoc as needed.
  • Getting the quality department to trust the process and the expertise by making sure that every single letter to a donor was translated, versus an ad-hoc, as-needed approach.

Everything is done in a timely manner and efficiently. Our project manager does a great job. Always there to answer questions. Thank you all. We look forward to continuing working with you in the future.
– Carol Laning, Sr. Administrative Assistant, Versiti

Great communication, quick turn around, wonderful project managers!
– Vida Cater, Manager, Marketing Specialty Programs, Versiti

Fast, accurate, and professional
– Kristoff Schubilske, Associate Clinical Research Coordinator, Versiti

Great communication and quick turn-around!
– Sandra Cunningham, Director, Versiti

I love working with the team at BURG Translations. They make the process very easy and are on top of things. Emails are answered in a lightning fast fashion and I know they are going to deliver the best service. I highly recommend BURG.
– Bob Maxwell, Versiti

Success With BURG

Since 1936, BURG Translations has provided superior localization, translation, and interpreting services across multiple global industries. The company offers a wide variety of language services to Fortune 500 clients – from prestigious medical journals, legal firms, and leaders in biotech and manufacturing to new tech startups, universities, healthcare groups, and life science organizations. The key to BURG’s success lies in its more than 80 years of cultivating an elite corps of translation professionals, leading-edge technology, and white-glove customer service.

To learn how BURG Translations can help you with your language translation needs, contact us today.