Intermountain Health now offers full interpretation services in more than 120 languages

Intermountain Health
Intermountain Health(FOX5)
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:48 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - All Intermountain Health clinics and facilities in Nevada now have full interpretation services for every patient visit to provide accommodations for those who need communication assistance, whether due to a disability, such as the deaf or hard of hearing, or to Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

According to a media release from the healthcare provider, interpretation services are offered free of charge in all facilities, at all points of contact, and during all hours of operation.

“Intermountain Health is committed to ensuring that all persons have an equal opportunity to access all care and services we offer,” said Keyona Cole, Chief Nursing Officer for Intermountain Health’s Desert Region and leader of the health system’s DEI Committee in Nevada. “The communities we serve are diverse, and it is important that everyone has the same, equal access to high-quality care and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

In 2022, Intermountain Health provided interpretation services in 120 languages and for about 53,000 patient encounters a month.

Intermountain Health’s team of over 90 staff interpreters offers services in eight languages—Spanish, Portuguese, American Sign Language, Tongan, Samoan, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Marshallese—and contracts with multiple in-person and remote interpretation agencies that provide services in nearly 200 languages. Interpreters are required to be professionally trained and/or certified. Intermountain Health is a licensed trainer for professional medical interpreting classes that are offered several times a year.

For pre-scheduled appointments, patients should notify the scheduler of the need for interpretation for themselves or any family members during the appointment scheduling process, specifically of additional special needs or preferences such as in-person, video remote interpretation (iPad), or telephone interpretation. If in-person interpretation is desired, Intermountain Health will do its best to accommodate those requests.

In-person interpreters’ availability varies depending on the language, time of the day, and the facility’s location. If staff are unable to find a qualified in-person interpreter in a timely manner, a qualified video remote (VRI and/or audio-only (telephonic) interpreter will be made available to avoid delay in care. For emergency or unscheduled visits, patients should let caregivers at the reception desk know they would like an interpreter upon arrival. Interpreters follow HIPAA guidelines to keep patient information confidential.

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