Nurturing a Culture of Compliance Terra's Journey and Approach
11/06/2024

Nurturing a Culture of Compliance: Terra’s Journey and Approach 

A culture of compliance encompasses a set of values, behaviors, and attitudes guiding individuals within an organization to adhere to policies, procedures, and regulations. This framework facilitates better decision-making at all levels, ensuring alignment with the business’s rules. 

At Terra, our commitment to fostering a culture of compliance goes beyond mere adherence to standards. We emphasize cultivating a sense of belonging and shared purpose among team members. Our dedication to continuous improvement stems from the firm belief that there is always room for enhancement, presenting opportunities for growth and innovation. 

This commitment to compliance is evident in our ISO-certified services maintained since 2019 and our strict adherence to HIPAA regulations. Read on to learn more about how we nurture compliance culture at Terra.  

ISO Certifications 

We strive to select certifications that truly enhance our operations and client services. The ISO 9001 and 17100 standards drive our quality-oriented translation services

To maintain these certifications through the years, we develop structured training programs and strategic initiatives to provide each team member with the latest tools and encourage them to embrace new technologies. Throughout this process, we constantly review our procedures. Thanks to these efforts, our team members understand their pivotal role in our quality management system and diligently apply best practices in their daily tasks. 

HIPAA Compliance 

As a language service provider, we have a strong commitment to language access. However, we understand that in the healthcare space specifically, a lot of sensitive and confidential information is shared in the translation projects our client entrusts us. As such, we need to handle these files with the utmost care. The compliance culture we first cultivated among our team with ISO allowed us to pursue HIPAA compliance with confidence. Every individual handling ePHI projects understands the importance of safeguarding this information, shares these values, and does everything in their power to uphold them. 

Compliance is a Team Effort 

If a compliance issue arises, the focus becomes identifying the root cause of the problem—not the person responsible for it. During non-conformity analyses, individuals from diverse company teams work together to examine deviations, gain a deeper comprehension of the origin of the problem, and collectively devise solutions. 

While compliance is mainly an internal process, external validation is essential to maintain our clients’ trust. Terra hires experienced external auditors to conduct comprehensive reviews. These internal audits are invaluable learning experiences, where team members see firsthand the impact their compliance efforts have on the team results. This independent evaluation leaves no room for improvisation. At the same time, it enables us to identify areas for improvement in our processes. 

The Takeaway 

Fostering a culture of compliance isn’t easy, but organizations that prioritize it set themselves up for long-term success. At Terra, we navigate the path to continuous improvement with a compass of transparency, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Translation and Business Management Systems Adding Value, Subtracting Risk
04/06/2024

Translation and Business Management Systems: Adding Value, Subtracting Risk

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are decisive within localization workflows. Not only do they assist linguists in their work with multiple features, such as translation memories (TMs), automation rules, built-in glossaries, and more. Many also include tools that help project managers (PMs) and vendor managers (VMs) with their daily tasks, offering reporting, allocation tools, and workflow management. Software solutions that have both functions are called Translation Management Systems (TMSs), and here we’ll address how they can enhance localization processes. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the main difference between TMSs and another type of tool, Business Management Systems (BMSs), which are often mistaken for one another.  

TMS support  

A TMS helps the project management team automate and customize repetitive processes. For example, if they manage a large number of projects with identical requirements daily, TMSs offer templates that can save time and clicks. Furthermore, TMSs allow tracking and reporting. Reports are crucial because they inform stakeholders within a project about the exact volume and scope. Without data from reports, planning or scheduling is not possible. Some TMSs allow tracking other variables, such as time spent on editing, costs, and profitability.   

Most TMSs include powerful quality assurance tools and some even allow storing localization resources, like TMs, references, or term bases (TB). This is a big deal for project management purposes since it offers a built-in quality management solution for workflows while also offering data storage. Repositories are more common in cloud-based solutions and they help maintain resources classified and organized.   

A TMS can also feature vendor management solutions. This includes elaborating databases of vendors with detailed profiles where VMs and PMs can search and filter according to their needs.   

These are just a few of the ways how TMSs can support localization management teams. There are a wide variety of TMSs in the market aimed at different needs, products, and processes, that offer solutions for specific workflows.  

Manage businesses  

In the localization landscape, another type of software is a must when users are in need of organizing workflows and operations. When a business scales up and its processes grow and become more complex, BMSs come to their aid. Language Service Providers (LSPs) benefit from BMSs because these tools efficiently manage and monitor business operations, mainly by performing the following functions:  

  • Comprehensive workflow and project management  
  • Allocating and coordinating multiple vendors  
  • Creating and storing databases of vendors and clients  
  • Reporting and tracking multiple variables, such as profitability, services, types of projects, etc. 
  • Invoicing  
  • Project and vendor rating  

The main difference between a BMS and a TMS is that the latter also includes CAT tool functionalities, while the former doesn’t. Some BMSs are helpful across industries, yet some are customized specifically for localization workflows. Some companies even develop customized BMSs, like TerraSoft.  

Drawing the line  

While always useful and handy, spreadsheets fall short when businesses thrive and their data volume grows. TMSs and BMSs go beyond offering solutions for data storing, workflow tracking, or reporting. Their features also add value to the workflows LSPs manage and reduce potential risks. Counting on TMSs and BMSs ensures cross-checking of data, consistency across projects and time, data management, and thorough monitoring. 

The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services
21/05/2024

The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services

As healthcare cyberattacks surge, cybersecurity is paramount. A 60% year-over-year rise, affecting over 40 million individual patients’ data in 2023, highlights the growing complexity and harm. Robust cybersecurity is crucial to protect individuals from evolving threats and safeguard the integrity of sensitive health information. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role of cybersecurity in HIPAA-compliant translation services.  

Building a Strong Defense  

Terra is a language service provider (LSP) that handles the translation of very sensitive information, as such, we understand that cybersecurity is imperative. These are some of the measures we have in place to build a strong defense:  

  • Proper monitoring. All electronic devices owned by Terra are monitored through Microsoft Azure tools, which detect potential threats. Our translation management system tracks all log activities for projects, generating a distinct timestamped record on projects with ePHI
  • Secure on-premises servers. We have our own secure on-premises server in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which ensures that the data stays within our safe environments. This also gives us more control over information management in real-time and on demand. 
  • Unique logins. Everyone with access to ePHI has a unique login and strong password—which is frequently updated for additional security.  
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Terra utilizes this program to ensure security through MFA for all Active Directory users.  

An Ongoing Commitment to Improving Cybersecurity  

There are some other steps the Terra team takes to continue to improve our cybersecurity efforts: 

  • Continuous risk assessment. Terra executes risk assessments on a yearly basis under the most stringent guidelines and practices to preserve the security of all private information entrusted to us. During this assessment, our processes are audited by an external consultant specialized in HIPAA compliance and IT security. Their recommendations are then implemented so our processes, protocols and software comply with the latest regulations and stay at the cutting edge in terms of cybersecurity. 
  • Security protocols. Our routers actively track and log all attempted security breaches. We conduct regular evaluations to detect any unusual behavior in our processes. 
  • Data protection measures. Our IT department explores new advanced technologies to strengthen security and implement robust backup and recovery plans for ePHI integrity during emergencies or system failures. 
  • Fostering a culture of compliance. Our team regularly trains to uphold our commitment to safeguarding sensitive information. Continuous collaboration with the IT department and our Privacy Officer allows each team member to play a vital role in compliance. 

Cybersecurity beyond healthcare 

Terra places the highest importance on maintaining robust cybersecurity measures and not just because of HIPAA compliance. In the language services industry, all sorts of confidential and sensitive information are handled in a digital format that is usually shared electronically.  

“In the healthcare field, it could be a medical record that would really hurt people if it were made public. But at the same time, in our other verticals, we handle court statements, sometimes from extremely dramatic situations, that no one would want to see disclosed. In other sectors, the damage can be just economic, but it can be huge and disrupt industries,” Dr. Matías Giannoni, Ph.D. and Privacy Officer at Terra explained.  

The takeaway 

The imperative role of cybersecurity in ensuring HIPAA compliance cannot be overstated for LSPs. As technology bridges geographical gaps and facilitates the global exchange of information, the responsibility to safeguard sensitive patient data becomes paramount. Terra’s Privacy Officer, in conjunction with our vigilant IT Department, plays a pivotal role in fortifying cybersecurity measures not just as a regulatory requirement but as a fundamental pillar in safeguarding privacy, maintaining confidentiality, and preventing potential harm to the different industries we work with. 

8 Benefits of Staffing Services for Your Business
14/05/2024

8 Benefits of Staffing Services for Your Business

Finding the right talent efficiently is crucial for sustained business growth. Staffing services provide a solution that goes beyond conventional hiring methods, offering a range of benefits that can significantly impact your business. In a previous article, we delved into the importance of effective staffing strategies. Now, let’s explore eight compelling benefits that make staffing services a valuable asset for your company. 

Cost Efficiency 

One of the primary advantages of staffing is cost efficiency. Traditional hiring methods involve various expenses such as recruitment, onboarding, benefits, and social charges. Staffing services help businesses reduce these additional expenses, making it an economical option for acquiring talent. 

Time-Saving 

In the fast-paced business world, time is money. Staffing services streamline the hiring process by providing access to pre-screened talent through their extensive databases. This not only saves valuable time but also ensures a quicker turnaround in the recruitment process, particularly when faced with multiple rounds of interviews and evaluations. 

Expertise and Knowledge of the Hiring Process 

Staffing providers bring a wealth of expertise to the table. With experienced recruiters who understand the intricacies of the job market and industry-specific requirements, they employ effective candidate-sourcing techniques. This expertise ensures your business benefits from the best possible talent acquisition strategies. 

Temporary or Contract Staffing 

Businesses often experience fluctuations in staffing needs due to growth or downsizing. Staffing services offer a flexible solution with customizable contract durations and scalability options. This enables you to efficiently manage temporary or contract positions during peak seasons or special projects without the hassle of long-term commitments. 

Reduced Administrative Burden 

Handling administrative tasks such as payroll, benefits, and taxes for temporary or contract employees can be time-consuming. Staffing services alleviate this burden by taking care of these responsibilities, allowing your business to focus on core objectives and strategic goals. 

Flexible Agreement 

Every business is unique, and staffing services recognize this diversity. They provide tailored plans that adapt to your specific business goals and hiring needs. This flexibility ensures that the terms of the agreement align seamlessly with your company’s requirements. 

Strong Work Relationships 

Building strong, enduring relationships between your company and top industry talent is crucial for sustained success. Staffing services play a pivotal role in this aspect, understanding your company culture, values, and long-term goals. A staffing partner who aligns with your vision can foster trust and collaboration, ensuring a healthy working relationship with new employees

Risk Mitigation 

Staffing vendors often assume liability for issues such as workers’ compensation and unemployment claims for temporary employees. This proactive approach helps mitigate legal and financial risks for your business, providing an additional layer of security. 

The Takeaway 

Partnering with a staffing expert can offer your business affordable and productive paths forward for your hiring needs. The expertise, time-saving benefits, and strong work relationships fostered by staffing agencies can streamline the recruitment process, allowing your company to focus on core objectives while accessing top talent. As you explore options to expand your team, consider the numerous advantages offered by staffing services. If you’re contemplating staffing solutions or need guidance on whether it’s the right move for your company, feel free to reach out to Federico Colombo, Customer Success Manager at [email protected]

The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry
07/05/2024

The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry

Effective communication is the backbone of success in the manufacturing industry. It ensures not only the safety of the workers but also compliance with regulations and overall operational efficiency. However, for companies dealing with a diverse workforce that includes individuals with Limited English Proficiency, language barriers can become a significant roadblock. Let’s discuss the importance of language access in manufacturing and explore practical strategies to overcome these hurdles. 

Understanding the Key Role of Language Access 

These are some of the main considerations you should keep top of mind when it comes to language access in the manufacturing industry: 

  • Safety first: On the factory floor, where precision and caution are paramount, language barriers can translate into safety hazards. When workers struggle to comprehend safety instructions or warnings due to language differences, the risk of accidents and injuries significantly increases. Implementing language access measures becomes a crucial step in mitigating these potential dangers. 
  • Efficiency and quality boost: Effective communication—facilitated by translation services—is the key to enhancing efficiency in manufacturing processes. When workers can understand instructions clearly, they are more likely to perform tasks accurately and efficiently. This not only contributes to increased productivity but also elevates the overall quality of the manufacturing process by reducing errors and defects in the final products. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: While some may perceive translation services as an additional expense, they can be a wise investment in the long run. By preventing costly mistakes and accidents, these services contribute to improved overall efficiency. Furthermore, addressing language barriers can reduce onboarding time and costs, a significant benefit in industries where training is complex and time-consuming. 
  • Employee engagement and retention: Language access initiatives go beyond operational benefits; they also play a crucial role in employee engagement and retention. When workers feel understood and included, their morale and engagement levels increase. This, in turn, fosters a positive work environment and enhances the likelihood of retaining skilled personnel in the organization. 
  • Compliance matters: In the manufacturing sector, staying compliant with regulations, especially those set by organizations like OSHA, is non-negotiable. Providing training in employees’ native languages is not just a good practice but a regulatory necessity, ensuring that your company aligns with the required safety standards. 

How to Boost Language Access in Manufacturing 

To help improve language access in manufacturing, consider taking these steps: 

  • Implement translation services: Utilize translation services to assist workers in understanding critical documents and instructions, including safety guidelines, operating manuals, and employee handbooks. This ensures that information is accessible to all employees, regardless of their language proficiency. 
  • Offer multilingual resources: Make the work environment more accessible by providing multilingual resources and tools such as visual aids, bilingual signage, and language-friendly navigation systems. This promotes effective communication and ensures that everyone can move around the workspace safely. 
  • Provide native language training: Conduct training sessions in the native languages of your employees to guarantee comprehension. Translate manuals, eLearning courses, and add subtitles to training videos. This commitment to language access will reinforce safety protocols and proper equipment usage. 

The Takeaway 

Providing language support services is not just a luxury but a necessity in the manufacturing sector. By addressing communication challenges through translation services and other language access initiatives, companies can foster improved collaboration, increased efficiency, and a safer working environment for all.  

How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews
30/04/2024

How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews

These days, consumers spend a lot of time on their smartphones and much of that time is spent engaging with apps. Why? Some apps are really fun and some are super convenient. From playing games to checking emails to navigating a new city to ordering food, smartphone apps play a major role in our daily lives.

If an app developer wants to capture the attention of multiple markets (and they stand to gain a lot by doing so), then they need to prioritize localization. Here’s why.

Why localization can boost reach for developers

When you develop an app for a user, you have to do just that — develop the app for their exact needs. It’s only natural a user won’t go out of their way to understand an app that isn’t in their native language.

When you localize your app to the languages spoken in your target markets, you make yourself a stronger competitor in the space and can compete with local developers who designed their app with their local population in mind.

While it can be very tempting for developers to turn to machine translation to make the process of localizing their apps faster and more cost-effective, this usually isn’t the best way to go. Why? App content typically is made up of short strings of text that have little to no context. Machine Translation can struggle to accurately translate this style of content. You need human involvement to translate and test this content effectively.

How localization can influence app reviews

Localizing your app helps improve the user experience and that can lead to much stronger app reviews. Understandably, if someone struggles to understand and navigate an app due to a language divide, the true quality of the app won’t even be taken into account. A frustrated user who walks away from an app due to a language divide isn’t going to leave a positive review and may even leave a bad one.

You don’t want to sleep on reviews. Having good reviews helps your app rank higher in the app store. Which means when consumers are searching for apps, they’re more likely to find yours.

Important considerations when localizing

When you do start the localization process, there’s some important factors worth keeping in mind.

To start, you don’t want to only focus on the language your target audience speaks. You also want to pay close attention to their culture. You want the content of your app, as well as the form and functionality, to resonate with your audience and to be intuitive to use. This is why it’s a great idea to hire a localization expert who is from the region you’re looking to target, since they have a strong understanding of the local culture.

It’s also important to test your app before you launch. The last thing you want is to receive bad reviews because you didn’t perform a quality assurance test before launching.

The Role of LQA in Ensuring Successful Video Game Localization
23/04/2024

The Role of LQA in Ensuring Successful Video Game Localization

Behind every exciting gaming experience, there is a team of developers working tirelessly to create a masterpiece that not only entertains but also immerses you into a different world altogether. One of the most critical factors in ensuring the success of a video game is its quality.

Quality encompasses all components of a game, from its graphics and sound to its localization. This is where comes into play as a crucial aspect of the development process that ensures that the localization is accurate, appropriate, and flawless in the intended target market.

Keep reading for a closer look at what LQA is, why it matters, and what the different types of LQA are.

What is LQA?

In a highly competitive gaming industry, LQA has become an essential component in ensuring the success of a game’s localization. By working with experienced LQA experts, video game developers can deliver high-quality localized versions of their games, which not only resonates with players but also increases the likeliness of success in the global marketplace.

LQA testing is designed to catch any localization errors that can detract from the overall gaming experience. These errors can range from mistranslations due to lack of context to cultural inaccuracies, and even improper font usage. With thorough LQA testing, these issues can be detected and fixed before release.

To guarantee quality, during the LQA process, experienced linguists who are fluent in the target language and culture, and most probably are avid gamers themselves, play the game and thoroughly review every aspect of it. This step allows them to pick up on any linguistic nuances that could potentially take away from the gaming experience. If any errors are found, they are flagged and fixed to make sure that players can enjoy the game without any language or culture-related issues.

What are the different types of LQA?

LQA encompasses three different types of quality assurance (QA): linguistic, visual, and functional.

  • Linguistic QA focuses on any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation issues in the content. It also ensures that culturalization problems, inconsistent translations, and untranslated names or terms are flagged for correction.
  • Visual QA deals with font issues, user interface problems, and any graphics or images that are incorrectly placed or formatted. They also check for content that has been left untranslated or any issues with missing characters or line-breaks.
  • Functional QA is the most complex type and involves testing on different hardware and gaming devices such as Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC. During functional QA, specialists test for compatibility, performance, AI behavior, and accuracy of audio text and subtitles.

Why LQA?

LQA is a crucial step in game development that ensures all localized versions of your game are just as good as the original version. By investing time and resources into LQA, you’re showing your gamers that you care about their experience and value their feedback. Not only does this lead to happy players who are more likely to recommend your game, but it also prevents potential bad publicity that can arise from poorly localized games. With the rise of online communities and social media, it’s more important than ever to make sure your game is of the highest quality in all versions. So, we strongly advise against skipping LQA—it not only saves time and headaches, but it also helps to ensure the success of your game.

The Takeaway

LQA is a critical aspect of video game development and localization. By upholding the highest quality standards, video game developers can ensure that their games provide an immersive experience to players, thereby increasing their chances of success in the global market.

Thriving Together The Impact of Company Culture at Terra 
16/04/2024

Thriving Together: The Impact of Company Culture at Terra 

Having a strong company culture—also known as corporate culture or organizational culture—helps businesses retain the best talent, increases productivity, and improves employee happiness. Let’s explore what organizational or company culture is, why it is important to cultivate a good culture, and what benefits it can bring in the long run for organizations that prioritize it.  

What is “organizational culture” and why is it important? 

The term “organizational culture” is often discussed in business, but a clear definition is hard to pin down. It comes from social anthropology and includes the knowledge and beliefs people acquire in society. In the 1970s, this term became crucial for meeting the needs and values of workers. Today, companies value it more than physical assets, using it to shape new strategies.  

Since we spend over half our day working and interacting with colleagues, a positive organizational culture significantly impacts our well-being and satisfaction in both professional and personal aspects of life. At Terra, we focus on building a strong company culture, recognizing its importance in our success. 

Company Culture at Terra 

Being a 100% virtual company since its inception in 2000, Terra has always prioritized creating opportunities for connection and support amongst our team despite the lack of face-to-face interactions. We understand the importance of fostering a sense of companionship and collaboration, especially in a remote setting where traditional avenues for communication are often limited.  

To address these challenges, we implement various strategies such as prioritizing phone over email communication, hosting monthly company-wide meetings led by our leaders to discuss business updates and vision, team-specific monthly meetings with our CEO, and weekly check-ins within each team for progress updates. Additionally, we provide recreational spaces and flexibility to ensure a well-rounded and fulfilling work experience for our team members. 

Impact on retention 

Within each team, microcultures inevitably form, even within the broader organizational culture defined by the company’s mission and values. These microcultures develop unique values and work styles. While these microcultures need to maintain respectful and functional dynamics that align with the company’s overall objectives, it’s equally crucial to respect their individuality.  

Numerous studies demonstrate that factors beyond compensation influence an individual’s decision to remain with a company. Therefore, acknowledging and respecting the unique microcultures within teams contributes significantly to employee retention and overall organizational success.  

Thanks to these efforts, Terra currently boasts a remarkable 95% retention rate. Positive feedback from climate surveys underscores the effectiveness of our approach, demonstrating that employees continue to choose Terra not only for the supportive team environment but also for the career challenges it offers and the growth opportunities it provides for every collaborator. 

The takeaway 

Finding and training the right talent takes a lot of work and money. To retain top talent, you need to prioritize building a strong company culture that reflects shared values amongst your workforce. Doing so will help both the organization as a whole and individual team members thrive.

How to Compare Services From Different Translation Vendors
09/04/2024

How to Compare Services From Different Translation Vendors

At first glance, when comparing service providers, it may be tempting to go with the least expensive option. When it comes to choosing a translation service provider, this can often be the wrong move to make. Why? If you receive a quote for translation services that is way cheaper than that of a different provider, then something is likely off. Either they are not quoting the exact same services (translation workflows are usually unique to each client) or the people who will be working on the project aren’t as qualified and trained as you need them to be. Oftentimes the linguist doing the job is still in training, is not certified, or is not specialized in the field.

When you choose the cheapest option, there’s a high chance that the deliverables you receive won’t match what you thought you were buying. As the saying goes—you get what you pay for.

That’s not to say you have to go with the most expensive option to get the best quality, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If two different vendors give you a different rate for the same language combination, you need to make sure you’re being offered the same product and only then can you benefit from going with the least expensive option.

These are some factors worth keeping in mind when comparing different translation service providers—especially if you anticipate having ongoing translation needs. Because that means the selected provider may become a long-term partner.

Communication

When getting to know different translation providers, pay attention to how your communication flows with them and what channels they use to communicate with you and your team.

Technology

You should also take note of what technology the vendor will use to work on your projects. A solid Translation Management System (TMS) and computer assisted translation tools (CAT tool) that allow for good terminology management and QA checks is a must-have.

Experience

Ask each localization provider to walk you through their work experience. Does the vendor have case studies or references they can share with you? Success stories and testimonials can also tell you a lot about the company. Experience is really important here, as one company might use non-professional translators or use very low-paying translators that don’t produce the best quality work, nor have resources in-house to check the quality of the work or use the right technology. That may explain why their prices are so low, so be very weary of vendors that offer inexpensive rates.

Workflow

What workflow does the language provider use to manage projects in a seamless fashion and what integrations do they offer to work with your company? Make sure they align with how you and your team like to work.

Project management

You want to work with a good project manager to make sure the process runs smoothly from start to finish. See if you can find out what the level of expertise the project management team that will be working on your projects has. You can also find out what time zones they are based in to make sure you can align timing wise and can facilitate ongoing dynamic interactions. It can be helpful to meet with the project manager, project management team, or translation team beforehand via a phone call or video call to help make sure you’re all on the same page about project needs and workflow.

Quality control

What quality control measures does the vendor have? Are they certified by international quality standards like ISO 9001 and 17100? Do they work with in-house reviewers and quality control specialists? These are important questions to ask to learn more about the quality control that a vendor offers.

Reputation

You want to work with a translation company that has a good reputation in the industry and amongst translators. You can look for feedback about the company in social media and online forums to make sure they are a trustworthy vendor.

Company culture

Does the company culture of the provider align with your team’s culture? When you share the same values, the provider feels like an extension of your own team.

The Takeaway

As tempting as it may be to choose the most affordable translation vendor so you can stretch your budget as far as possible, it’s important to compare the services and the experience backing those services before you make a final decision.

How Does Terra Handle Translation Projects Containing ePHI
02/04/2024

How Does Terra Handle Translation Projects Containing ePHI?

We believe that every person, regardless of their background or native language, has the right to comprehend their medical information, which may require translation services.  

When it comes to the handling of electronically Protected Health Information, the utmost care must be taken in order to adhere to HIPAA regulations regarding privacy and security measures. Here’s how the Terra team handles translation projects containing ePHI

First Things First 

Before kicking off a translation project containing ePHI, we typically have a call with the client to better understand their needs, expectations, and special considerations. If they have concerns about cybersecurity measures or want to learn more about the HIPAA-compliant team that will handle their projects, we will walk them through our training program and introduce them to the strong culture of compliance we promote. 

Receiving a Project 

Once everyone is on the same page and the client is ready to send their first project, they usually do it through a secure file transfer platform (of their preference) where they upload the files containing ePHI that require translation. Our team also receives an email from the client where the details of this project are included, such as language pair, word count, and deadline. 

Assigning the Project 

Next, we move on to assigning the project to a Terra account manager (AM) trained in HIPAA compliance. The AM opens the assignment email, analyzes the request, and downloads the files that need translation from the client’s platform to their encrypted devices. From there, they upload them to Terra’s secure storage platform. Then, the AM shares the project details with a project manager (PM) who is in charge of uploading the project to a secure translation tool, including only the vital instructions and information the translator needs to perform their job, and assigns it to a linguist selected from a list of already approved vendors.  

The linguists working on these projects are both experts in the healthcare field and are also trained in HIPAA compliance. To test their knowledge, they must pass an internal test to demonstrate their ability to properly handle the documents with the utmost care.

Translating & Editing 

When we’re ready to move on to the translating and editing stage, our trusted HIPAA-compliant linguist receives a notification about the assigned project and proceeds to translate it within the secure translation tool. The access this translator has to the project files is controlled, limited to view-only, and removed once the project is completed. 

Every person involved in the process has unique and non-transferable credentials. This helps us track everything and keep a record of the management of the project.

After the translation is performed, the next step is editing and an editor reviews the final version, making sure there are no spelling, grammar, or formatting errors.  

While the use of a CAT tool during the translation process supposes the use of a translation memory (TM) as well, our team has an established process to make sure that segments containing ePHI are not stored in the project TM

Final Delivery 

After editing steps are finalized, the project is ready and the PM in charge delivers the files to the client through the client’s secure platform. The final files are uploaded to our own secure storage platform for a set period of time in case they are needed in the near future, and after that period is over, the files are deleted.  

The Takeaway 

Terra ensures a secure and compliant ePHI translation process, prioritizing confidentiality and integrity. Clients can trust their sensitive healthcare information is safe thanks to Terra’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in handling electronically Protected Health Information.