Establishing National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care

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Lack of qualified interpreters is frequently cited as the greatest barrier to health care for patients who are not proficient in English. At present, there are no national standards defining the characteristics and competencies of a qualified medical interpreter. This project will implement a consensus-building process to develop a set of practice standards for interpreters working in health care settings. Project staff will: 1) examine other standards that have been developed in this country and abroad; 2) conduct focus groups with language interpreters to collect information on their roles; and 3) convene a committee of experts from the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care to review the data gathered and draft an initial set of standards. National standards will provide guideposts for improving the training of health care interpreters, which in turn could lead to a reduction in medical errors arising from miscommunication. The California Endowment will cofund this project.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
National Council on Interpreting in Health Care
Principal Investigator:
Cynthia Roat, M.P.H.
Award Amount:
$62,058.00
Approval Date:
November 11, 2003

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