At the center of the health care interpreting encounter is the deaf or non-English speaking patient (consumer). Also involved are the interpreter, the healthcare provider/staff, the patient’s family, the hospital administrators, interpreter trainers and certification organizations, and legal and government officials.
With such a diverse group of stakeholders, how can we all overcome our biggest challenges and provide equitable healthcare?
We posed the following questions in a survey. Here’s what we learned:
1. What role do you play in the equation?
2. How would you describe your biggest challenge?
- Healthcare provider/staff not understanding the importance of trained/certified interpreters being part of the treatment team
- Insufficient information provided to interpreter by healthcare provider/staff before the encounter
- Lack of trained/qualified interpreter manpower
- Healthcare provider/staff misconceptions of the interpreter’s role/boundaries
- Unawareness of rights of LEP/Deaf/Hard of Hearing patient (consumer)
- Costs for healthcare organizations (hospitals) providing interpreter services
- Hospitals managing dual roles in healthcare staff
- …and more.
Our solution to these challenges? Collaboration between and across stakeholder groups.
Come back to learn more about the areas in which we and our survey respondents see potential for collaboration….
- Education:-of Providers and staff on providing/working with interpreters and the interpreter profession
-of future generations of interpreters
- Money-Interpreter pay
-Billing for healthcare facilities/interpreter services
- The law:-Patient rights, federal laws