Two sets of recommendations submitted: one for foreign language interpreters
, the other for sign language interpreters
. Recommendations for sign language interpreters take into account existing certification programs. Recommendations for foreign language interpreters do not, given the recency with which these have become available.
*Black print refers to both foreign language and sign language interpreters. Blue print applies only to foreign language interpreters. Purple print applies only to sign language interpreters.
1. Stop requiring patients to bring their own interpreter.
2. Use qualified (and certified) interpreters instead of friends and family members as interpreters. (Except for emergency situations when no qualified interpreter is available in person, by phone, or video.)
3. Require anyone who interprets on a regular basis in a healthcare setting to receive training approved by an HHS agency as set out below:
Sign Language Interpreter Certification recognized by DARS
Certification by CCHI or NBCMI OR
-High School Education
-Fluency in English and a language other than English AND
Experience as a translator or interpreter in a health care setting, AND
-Consecutive interpreting/Simultaneous interpreting
-Protocols (managing the session)
-Code of Ethics for Health Care Interpreters
-Standards of Practice for Health Care Interpreters
-Roles of the Health Care Interpreter
-Legislation and regulations (relating to language access)
-General medical knowledge (including physical and behavioral health terms, infection control, mentoring)
4. Establish a statewide registry of healthcare interpreters through a governmental or nonprofit organization.
When working as an interpreter and patient liaison/advocate, the interpreter should refrain from advocating during
the interpreted session.
Recommend that quality assurance measures be implemented for translation of written documents
or outsourcing of this function to a provider who:
-Offers transparency in its processes
-Uses up-to-date technology and tools
-Uses HIPAA and HITECH compliant security measures
-Includes editing, proofreading, language localization and formatting as steps in its process
-Has mechanisms for quality assurance/quality control
For the full text of these recommendations and a rationale for each one, see the ACQHCTI 2012 Report