HIN members have the responsibility to facilitate clear and accurate communication between patients and providers in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic health care environment.
Why is interpretation important?
There are four compelling reasons for organizations and governments to spend the time and resources needed to provide high quality interpretation for patients who need it:
1. Research indicates that language barriers affect health outcomes for patients because of:
* Wrong referrals
* Wrong treatment
2. Poor communication due to language barriers can leave providers and organizations open to legal challenges;
3. While interpretation services cost money, a lack of appropriate interpretation can lead to inefficient use of resources and increased cost to the health care system. This translates in:
* Unnecessary medical tests
* Repeat appointments, poor compliance with follow-ups, no shows
4. Language barriers may result in failure to protect patient confidentiality, to obtain consent, or properly comprehend the nature of the ailment.