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Certifiable Success: CultureSmart’s Pre-Certification Intensive Study Group for Medical Interpreters

Ready, Set, Certification! A Guided Precertification Study Group for Medical Interpreters

What made CultureSmart’s first-ever pre-certification study group a certifiable success? A curriculum designed to prepare medical interpreters for certification exams. Sixty-five medical interpreters speaking Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Vietnamese. Eight moderators with training and interpreting backgrounds. Hours of collegial interaction in small groups on four Saturdays. Plus epic studying.

The unique program targeted working interpreters, many of whom received training earlier in their careers. Lots of experienced interpreters, though, don’t work with a full range of medical fields and terminology in their day-to-day work. Carla Fogaren, RN, system director of diversity initiatives and interpreter services at Steward Health Care System, who initiated the study group program with CultureSmart to help her team study for exams, said her interpreters were “very, very pleased with the program.”

CultureSmart Precertification Training Team

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Q&A on Healthcare Interpreter Certification

Certification Commission for Healthcare InterpretersNational Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

At CultureSmart, we’ve been thinking about – and preparing for – medical interpreter certification for years. The Q&A in this blog entry offers background on healthcare interpreter certification plus our thoughts on how certification will benefit interpreters, patients, and the health care industry.

What is the status of medical interpreter certification in the U.S.?
National certification is a long way off, but there’s a nation wide wave of interest in certification, thanks to a movement that started several years ago. Currently, the largest impediment to the adoption of certification is that most stakeholders – hospitals, providers, patients, even interpreters – either don’t fully grasp what medical interpreter certification would mean or don’t see justification for it.

In addition, the powers-that-be in health care – decision makers, funders and even, to some extent, regulatory and accreditation agencies – were not or are not completely “on board” with certification. Read the rest of this entry »

Risk Management for Healthcare Interpreters Summary Slides

One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations

The Joint Commission’s Hospitals, Language, and Culture (HLC) study is issuing a new research report, One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations. This report provides a framework to help organizations meet the challenges of providing safe, quality care to culturally and/or linguistically diverse patients. Though the report is based on the findings from an in-depth study of hospitals, all types of health care organizations can use this framework to take an in-depth look at their current practices and guide efforts to address the cultural and language needs of the populations they serve.

Download a free copy of One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations.

Annotated Bibliography by Alice Chen, M.D.

Annotated Bibliography

New Mexico Needs Healthcare Interpreters

“Intoxicado” has been called the $71 million word. That’s the award a Florida hospital was to pay in a malpractice suit that left 18-year-old William Ramírez a quadriplegic due to the wrong interpretation of the word.