Developing trust with a doctor or healthcare provider can take time. The same can be said for the relationship between patients and interpreters. Many healthcare organizations contract with interpreter agencies to provide language access for their Deaf and limited English proficient (LEP) patients. This means patients are often meeting their interpreter for the first time at the hospital or clinic where they are receiving care. Learn more here more about the qualifications, training and experience required of InDemand interpreters.
When meeting a new interpreter, patients should have the opportunity to understand whether an interpreter has enough experience, training and knowledge to effectively interpret for them, especially when discussing important health matters. It is vital for hospitals and clinics to have systems in place to vet interpreters and to partner with interpreter vendors that provide only the best, most qualified interpreters are working with patients and providers. Equally important is confirming the quality control and risk management practices of the interpreter providers to ensure interpreters are ethical, bound by HIPAA and patients and providers are receiving the most effective language access.
How to evaluate interpreter quality and mitigate risk
To confirm language service providers are delivering the best possible language access and are providing a safe experience for patients and providers, it is important to consider the following:
1.Hiring. Are your language service vendors committed to hiring well-qualified individuals and ensuring these candidates are screened thoroughly? At InDemand, once an interpreter is interviewed, completes and passes a medically focused interpreting assessment, they then complete thorough training on interpreter ethics, VRI technology and professional development expectations.
All spoken language interpreters are certified by:
- Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)
- National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)
- Or on a six-month path to certification
All American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) are credentialed by:
All InDemand interpreters exceed HIPAA and federal regulations in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act for “medically qualified interpreters.”
- Does the language services provider offer sufficient training and preparation for interpreting in a medical setting? InDemand interpreters undergo a rigorous screening process to ensure they have completed testing, training and compliance with federal and state regulations, offering professional development and continuing education opportunities through the InDemand Interpreting Academy to hone skills and support continued growth. This includes:
- 40 hours of medical interpreting training
- Professional skills rubric
- Professional observations, random testing, manager “one-on-ones,” peer and customer feedback
Interpreters receive training on the cultural nuances and sensitives that are required when interpreting for many unique cultures in a medical environment.
InDemand has a robust silent monitoring program to measure on the job performance to evaluate interpreters. The results are used to provide feedback for training, interpreter coaching and professional development goals.
- All InDemand interpreters take and pass a medically focused interpreting assessments in both their target language as well as in English
- National, commercially available tests are calibrated to ensure interpreters pass the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR), a government established language and interpreting proficiency scale, calibrated to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale
- Staff management. The VRI environment lends itself to a higher level of supervision, enabling early intervention with interpreter skill development. On-site agencies may interview and vet interpreters diligently, but they often don’t have the opportunity to supervise interpreters while on the job. However, VRI interpreters have the opportunity to continuously hone and improve their skills, and InDemand has a passionate management team that is focused on improving communication between patients and providers while limiting risk for both patients and healthcare organizations.
To support patient safety, it’s important for healthcare providers to select the most qualified interpreters and language service vendors that prioritize maintaining quality control and risk assessment of their interpreters. High performing, quality language access is critical for LEP, Deaf and hard of hearing patients to support the best possible care.