The Joint Commission’s mission is “to improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value”. They are aware that today, more U.S. residents speak languages other than English, and clear communication is critical in providing good care. Based on their mission, and the knowledge of the necessity of medical interpreters and translators, the ones providing these services should also be held to high standards.
According to the standards set by the Joint Commission, your agency should at least meet the following two requirements:
- Documentation of formal education, training and language competency assessment of each interpreter hired.
- The contract signed by the interpreter must have proof that the standards set by the agency, are the consistent by the ones at the hospital or medical facility.
If your language services agency fails to provide the required information, on an unscheduled visit from the Joint Comission, you can risk your accreditation.
Here you can check all of the facts about what your medical facility needs (including the translation of signs, consents, etc) and what you should be requesting from your interpreting and translation agency, to be in compliance. If the standards are not met, or are ignored by the company you are contracting, start running fast, because that means that the standards they establish to hire interpreters are also low or non-existent.