Providing Language Access

“Language access” allows service providers to communicate with patients or clients who speak limited English.

You assure language access when you provide:

Interpreters, such as

  • Staff interpreters
  • Dual-role interpreters (bilingual staff, hired for another purpose, who have been trained to interpret when necessary)
  • Freelance interpreters
  • Telephonic interpreters
  • Video interpreters

Bilingual service providers

  • Whose language skills have been screened

Translated documents, such as

  • Consent forms
  • Discharge instructions
  • Patient instructions
  • Prescriptions
  • Patient rights forms
  • Financial statements

Multilingual or pictorial signage

  • Where’s the Emergency Department?
  • How do we find Pediatrics?
  • Is the cafeteria down this way?

Multilingual phone options

  • For English, press one
  • Para español, oprima el número 2
  • Pour le français, aprete le numero 3

Anything you do that helps bridge a language barrier creates language access.

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