What service(s) do you provide?
- We provide interpreter services for all limited-English speaking and Deaf/Hard of Hearing patients.
- We provide auxiliary communication aids for patients (pocket talkers, TTY phone, speakerphones, magnifiers, communication board, talking alarm clock, volume amplified phone, voice activated phone).
- When requested, we also provide consults on cultural issues.
When is it appropriate to initiate a referral to your service?
- Any time you have:
- a limited English speaking patient/family member
- a Deaf/Hard of hearing patient that uses sign language
- a patient that needs a communication aid (see above list)
Who can initiate a referral?
- Any staff member
What hours are you available? How do we reach you?
- Monday–Friday, 8am to 4:30pm
- For urgent needs you can page Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Manager of Interpreter Services, at pager 5455
- To place a HealthLink Consult:
- Open patient's chart
- Go to Order Entry
- Enter "Interpreter" for Search term and choose first option: Consult Interpreter Services (Inpatient)
- Enter information about date/time interpreter services needed, why (if no option fits, select "Other" and enter comment ), and for how long
- Click on Sign Orders button on the top right (you can also "Accept" orders and then Sign Orders)
- You will be asked to enter "Ordering Provider" and you will need to search for your name
- Enter the Attending MDs name for the next two fields
- After that, your request will display in the Active Orders list, as well as the Orders Management screen. It should also appear in the Unacknowledged Consult list in the Patient List screen so that Interpreter Services can acknowledge.
- If there is not an interpreter available for the date/time you have requested, Interpreter Services will try to contact the person who placed the request/order and will also write a comment in the comments field of the Acknowledged Order.
- After hours/weekends and Holidays:
- Spanish: the Spanish Interpreter on call is available Monday through Friday 5pm–7am and 24 hours on weekends/holidays: Pager # 2030
- Sign Language: the Sign Language Interpreter on call is available Monday through Friday 5pm–7am and 24 hours on weekends/holidays: Pager # 2031
- All other languages: call the Nursing Supervisor at Pager # 7576
- When no face-to-face interpreter is available:
- Use Over-the-Phone Interpreter Services. This service covers 140 languages and is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. You will get an interpreter on the phone within one minute. This service is to be used by UWHC staff members ONLY.
Is there a separate fee added to the patient’s bill for your service(s)?
- No, by law the patients cannot be billed for interpreter services. It is a FREE service for patients.
What is your response time?
- We need to get a request with as much advance notice as possible. We try to prioritize the needs and will responds ASAP depending on the language and the priority of the request.
Other things we should know?
- The Joint Commission, the Office for Civil Rights and UWHC Policy # 7.53 require that we provide qualified interpreters to all limited-English speaking patients.
- Delaying a patient appointment because we do not have an interpreter is against the Office for Civil Rights guidance. Over-the-Phone Interpreter Services should be used instead (see above).
- Interpreters must be deemed to be qualified by the Patient Relations/Interpreter Services Department.
- Qualified interpreters have the appropriate training and experience to interpret in the medical setting while adhering to a Code of Ethics established by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care.
- Children, friends and family members should not be used as interpreters.
- If after being told about his/her right to an interpreter at no charge, a patient refuses interpreter services, the patient will need to sign the Refusal of Interpreter Services form.
- Bilingual staff may communicate directly with patients in their common language, however, they should not act as an interpreter for other staff.
- During registration, staff will identify patients who have limited English proficiency or who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and code this in the patient's electronic medical record.
- When outpatient appointmentsare scheduled for patients who are identified as requiring interpreter services, the Interpreter Services Department receives a report and will schedule an interpreter.
- To make sure a request is received, you may also call Interpreter Services at 2-9000 to verify.
Using Over-the-Phone Interpreters