7 tips for VRI call troubleshooting

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VRI or Video Remote Interpreting is a HIPAA compliant and encrypted interpreting modality, allowing two or more parties that do not speak the same language to connect with an interpreter. The technology is quite straightforward and the process of connecting to an interpreter is simple. But… it is a technology, so things happen. That is why in this post we are exploring 7 annoying face palm-esce reasons to why your Video Remote Interpreting or VRI call session may not be working. Enjoy!

No Webcam

Imagine the excitement of finally setting up your first VRI call. Everything is set in place and you are ready to go and then… nothing. “Where is my face?” you ask yourself. If you are computer savvy, you might even consider checking your webcam settings. Then it hits you, duh… there is no webcam. While this may sound pretty obvious to most people, you must be sure that your webcam is connected and in working order to make a successful VRI call. If you aren’t using an external webcam, make sure your device has a built in camera.

I can’t hear anyone…

Ok, so your camera is finally set, the picture quality is excellent and everything seems to be working beautifully. You start by introducing yourself and going through your whole spiel. About halfway through the introduction, the other person says “Can you hear me?? I can’t hear you. HELLO?!” At this moment, your hand starts to slowly recede to the forehead area as you realize your second face palm moment of this call. In order for the other party to hear your voice, you need to be sure to unmute your audio as indicated by the audio icon on the screen.

Too much glare                                  

Yay, so the camera is connected, you see and hear the other person on the call and they can see and hear you, the overall connection is great! You decide to move around the room but the window just happens to be next to where you move the VRI cart to. All of a sudden, your VRI call quality is reduced but why? The glare from your window has blown out all detail in the video image and it’s now very tough for the other person to see you. Avoid positioning yourself where a window glare may be as it makes it difficult for the camera to focus and tough to see for the other person on the call. If you are in a healthcare setting, avoid positioning yourself or any involved party in front of bright lights.

I can’t understand what’s being said… (Choose the right language)

As you are scrolling down the impressive list of languages offered by the VRI company, you find your target language Polish and proceed to make the call. However, as you will soon find out, you actually chose Portuguese and now you and your party can’t understand the interpreter. Yikes. To avoid this, always make sure to select the correct languages as needed.

My VRI call won’t connect (check internet)

Nothing is more frustrating than opening your VRI App and realizing that you can’t connect to anything… no languages, no camera, nothing. That’s why it is imperative to check you internet connection before making a call. If you are on a desktop, a wired high-speed connection is recommended, however, a Wi-Fi connection will work too. Your internet speed should be at least 1 Mbps for a quick and stable connection during your VRI call. You can test your internet speed by visiting http://SpeedOf.me

Who here knows how to use this thing?

Ok, so imagine you are a healthcare provider who has been using VRI to access interpreters for your Deaf or Limited English Proficient patients on a regular basis. You understand how to set up a VRI call, you know the best practices and realize how helpful VRI is for your patients. However, say you leave for vacation and are not around when a Deaf or LEP patient is in need of an urgent VRI session to discuss the diagnosis and an emergency surgery. Your staff needs to be properly trained on how to use the VRI platform. In addition to the initial training sessions, it’s important to regularly implement a refresher training course for your entire staff, so that they are up to date with any changes that may occur, especially, if they are not using VRI regularly.

Is it ok to be fashionably late?

In the world of VRI, time is money. The interpreters are being paid per minute for each call they are on so it should be expected that the both the VRI client and interpreter are respectful of each other’s time. That means if you have a prescheduled appointment for VRI, set up early enough, so you don’t have to do it in front of the patient, while the interpreter is waiting for your call. This will allow the session to be smoother and more efficient and less headaches for all the parties involved.

We hope that this lighthearted blog will help to address some simple, yet important steps in making sure your Video Remote Interpreting encounter goes flawlessly. VRI has become an important part in any language access toolkit for a variety of reasons: legal, financial, instant access and patient and consumer satisfaction, just to name a few. If you haven’t implemented VRI in your organization yet, now is the time. Bromberg is happy to help – reach out to us to see a demo of our VRI solution.

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