We have all visited a pharmacy before, but do we always look at the package insert every time we get a new prescription? These medication manuals serve to educate medical professionals on how to prescribe the drug to patients around the world. They must be completely translated into selected languages by the company in order for all users to understand the directions on dosage, side effects, and other safety precautions.
This is just one example of how life sciences translations are used in everyday life. The importance of having accurate translations in the life sciences industry is to ensure that companies are providing appropriate instructions on how to use their product lines ranging from medical devices, medications, and manufactured supplies. A project manager can oversee these translations to make sure the project is successful – here are a few critical steps that should be followed:
First, Linguist Selection: Selecting the highest qualified linguists will ensure the quality of the end product. Vendor choice is a major component in the industry. Having a network of highly specialized linguists in the life sciences field who are native to the target language will guarantee that the translations can be comprehended by readers and users. As a result, it will reduce the amount of risks for project managers, the client, and especially the processes for healthcare delivery.
Second, Quality Assurance: The role of quality assurance is extremely vital in translations for a life sciences product to meet standards and regulations. There are many steps for a project manager to assign during translation. For example, it is required for two linguists to be assigned to a project: one for translation and review, and one for editing. After these steps, quality assurance (QA) specialists perform numerous proofing steps to ensure that the final version of the translation has no errors. Human errors are common issues during the translation process, and QA specialists are skilled in locating inconsistent grammar, punctuation, and formatting. When errors occur, QA specialists raise these issues to the project manager and linguists for resolution.
Third, Client Satisfaction: Every project manager’s goal for a project is to satisfy the client. Some ways project managers can accomplish this are by managing project expenses to remain under the client’s budget, selecting linguists with highest rating and lowest cost, and monitoring the project’s schedule to meet deadlines. If these are accomplished, project managers will successfully deliver an error-free project by the targeted due date.
These critical steps may sound like straight-forward processes; however, in the life sciences industry, rigorous standards from government requirements can cause unexpected hiccups, longer workflows, and greater risks. To note, these same concepts can be applied to other industries such as bio-medical devices and other technologies. The processes for life sciences translations are continuously changing, and every project is never the same. The role of project managers is significant for life sciences translations because they ensure that these products are used correctly to guarantee patient safety around the world.
Written by Kelly Leung, MCPHS University ’20
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