Accurate and effective communication is the most fundamental component of the healthcare encounter between patient and provider. Hospitals and healthcare providers are mandated to meet the communication needs of an increasingly diverse population.

When you don’t have CCHI certified healthcare interpreters, you risk:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act 1964

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act 1964  prohibits discrimination and requires covered entities to provide individuals an equal opportunity to participate in a program activity, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or (under certain conditions) religion or sex.  The federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights issued its guidance to clarify the need for quality and accuracy in the provision of language services:

    “VI.A. Competence of Interpreters. Recipients should be aware that competency requires more than self-identification as bilingual. Some bilingual staff and community volunteers, for instance, may be able to communicate effectively in a different language when communicating information directly in that language, but not be competent to interpret in and out of English.” Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons

    Please visit the Civil Rights division of HHS for more information, resources and tools for healthcare organizations to help ensure the effective communication that is essential to quality health care for all persons.

  • Complaint Investigations and Resolution Agreements by OCR

    See examples of hospitals reviewed by the Office of Civil Rights due to complaints regarding the provision of language assistance to patients and families with limited English proficiency.

  • Joint Commission Standards

    The Joint Commission presents hospitals and health organizations with guidance on compliance and implementation of the new standards for improving patient- and family-centered communication across the care continuum in its publication Advancing Effective communication, Cultural competence and patient-and Family-Centered Care – A Roadmap for Hospitals.

    CCHI’s certification helps hospitals, health organizations and healthcare providers fulfill standards and elements of performance critical for accreditation:

    • In the Leadership Domain:
      • LD.02.01.01: The mission, vision, and goals of the hospital support the safety and quality of care, treatment, and services;
      • LD.04.01.01: The hospital complies with law and regulation;
      • LD.04.03.07: Patients with comparable needs receive the same standard of care, treatment, and services throughout the hospital.

    By choosing CCHI-credentialed and certified interpreters to assist the care team with effective communication for their culturally and linguistically diverse patient population, organizations demonstrate their leadership commitment to create an environment of care that is culturally competent, linguistically appropriate and patient and family centered.

    • In the Workforce Domain
      • HR Requirement HR. 01.02.01: The hospital defines staff qualifications.

    CCHI certification of interpreters helps facilitate HR tasks to ensure that individuals who provide language services have specific qualifications and competencies required to perform their job functions in a safe and efficient manner.

    • In the Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services Domain
      • PC.02.01.21: The hospital effectively communicates with patients when providing care, treatment, and services.

    CCHI-credentialed and certified interpreters can help increase effective communication and improve patient-and family-centered communication across the care continuum. From admission to assessment, to treatment or end-of-life care, to discharge and transfer, healthcare interpreters that are qualified through CCHI certification can help:

    • communicate information about the unique needs of the patient to the care team;
    • identify patient’s cultural, religious, spiritual beliefs or practices that may impact health outcomes;
    • engage patients and families in care planning, decision making, treatment compliance, discharge and transfer instructions.
  • The National CLAS Standards

    The National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health and Health Care encourage health and healthcare organizations to ensure that patients’ communication needs are met.  CCHI’s certification process helps organizations meet the requirements of Standard 7:

    “Ensure the competence of individuals providing language assistance, recognizing that the use of untrained individuals and/or minors as interpreters should be avoided.” CLAS Standards

  • Implications of Section 1557 of ACA for Provision of Language Assistance to Patients with LEP

    Released by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights in May 2024, the highly anticipated updated regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act emphasize nondiscrimination standards for healthcare providers and health insurance companies. These updates mark a significant milestone by reinforcing stringent prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity among other factors), age, and disability.

    On May 22, 2024, CCHI Commissioner and Managing Director of Federal Advocacy at the National Health Law Program, Mara Youdelman, J.D., LL.M. explained the intricacies of the regulatory changes and how they may impact the patient populations that we all serve. In addition, the presentation explored the practical implications for healthcare organizations and outlined the steps necessary to achieve compliance with the updated regulations.

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