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Medical Interpreting


The new law "Emergency Room Interpreter Bill" requires that all hospitals, public or private, which provide acute care, either in emergency rooms or in acute psychiatric services, when treating non-English speakers , must use competent interpreter services. Hospital managers are required to use reasonable judgement in setting up their interpreter systems, based on the volume and diversity of the language groups they serve. The departments of Public Health and Mental Health in licensing or re-licensing these hospitals, are to consider how well they carry out these mandates.

There are also provisions requiring that all state payers for medical care (i.e. Medicaid) must reimburse hospitals for their reasonable interpreter costs.

Any person who is denied appropriate health care because a hospital failed to use reasonable judgement in setting up its Interpreter system may sue for a court order and/or damages and a reasonable attorney's fee; and the Attorney General is given power to bring action against a hospital when informed by DPH or DMH that the hospital "substantially failing to comply with applicable interpreter requirements".

Our medical interpreters work in a variety of settings: clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, dialysis centers, diagnostic imaging services, blood banks, mental health clinics and workman's compensation exams.

MIR ASSOCIATES INC. Mission Statement:

  • We strive to increase understanding of diverse cultural / linguistic minority groups.
  • Enhance practical skills of the novice medical interpreters.
  • Broaden the skills of seasoned medical interpreters.
  • Assist health care administrators in the effective provision of interpreter services.
  • Promote awareness among health care providers and the communities on the value of interpreter services.
  • Foster the highest level of ethical and professional standards of medical interpreting and translation in the United States.
  • Advocate on behalf of and promote the interest of interpreting and translation profession across the U.S.

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Tips for medical providers on how to work with medical interpreters:

The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care will soon publish a code of ethics to guide professional medical interpreters. We are currently following these guidelines for our medical interpretations:

  • The medical interpreter always keeps patient information confidential.
  • The medical interpreter always arrives on time and dresses in a professional manner.
  • The medical interpreter has a broad knowledge of medical terminology in both the target and source languages.
  • The medical interpreter must have an ability to easily interpret what is being said in a clear and understandable fashion, speaking slowly and enunciating clearly.
  • The medical interpreter always conducts himself/herself in a professional manner.
  • The medical interpreter always respect cultural diversity.
  • The medical interpreter must acknowledge language limitations when they arise and always ask for clarifications.
  • The medical interpreter always demonstrates respect towards all persons involved in the interpreting situation.
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