Poster Title

The Use of Qualified Medical Interpreters in Healthcare: Barriers for Healthcare Professionals

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Bachelors of Science in Nursing

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Department

College of Health and Human Services

Abstract

The Use of Qualified Medical Interpreters in Healthcare: Barriers for Healthcare Professionals

By Ana Alza Rodríguez, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student

Faculty Mentor: Judi Godsey, PhD, MSN, RN

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

Access to language services has become a fundamental component of care for patients who are not proficient in English. Patients who cannot effectively communicate in their preferred language require qualified bilingual support to ensure they receive equal access to healthcare. Many healthcare professionals are reluctant to use qualified medical interpreters. Healthcare systems that fail to implement solutions to increase utilization of qualified medical interpreters are at risk of losing government subsidies.

A review of the literature was conducted to examine the benefits of interpreter utilization as a tool to support the needs and rights of Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients. This review also examined barriers which negatively influence healthcare professionals’ decision to use a qualified medical interpreter, thus disregarding policies regarding language laws. A logic model served as a tool to identify factors which prevent the use of qualified medical interpreters. Factors included assumptions, inputs and resources, process implementation, outputs, as well as intended and unintended outcomes.

The literature provided consistent support for solutions to increase utilization of qualified medical interpreters in the healthcare environment. An essential first step in this process is to implement policies which make qualified medical interpreters available and encourage their use among healthcare staff. Policies should stress the interpreter’s professional obligation to maintain confidentiality during bilingual healthcare delivery.

Implementation of recommended solutions support compliance with language legislation which is also consistent with best practice standards. Future research is recommended to examine the clinical outcomes associated with the use of qualified medical interpreters, and the inherent risks when these essential services are not used as part of quality bilingual healthcare delivery.

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The Use of Qualified Medical Interpreters in Healthcare: Barriers for Healthcare Professionals

The Use of Qualified Medical Interpreters in Healthcare: Barriers for Healthcare Professionals

By Ana Alza Rodríguez, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student

Faculty Mentor: Judi Godsey, PhD, MSN, RN

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

Access to language services has become a fundamental component of care for patients who are not proficient in English. Patients who cannot effectively communicate in their preferred language require qualified bilingual support to ensure they receive equal access to healthcare. Many healthcare professionals are reluctant to use qualified medical interpreters. Healthcare systems that fail to implement solutions to increase utilization of qualified medical interpreters are at risk of losing government subsidies.

A review of the literature was conducted to examine the benefits of interpreter utilization as a tool to support the needs and rights of Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients. This review also examined barriers which negatively influence healthcare professionals’ decision to use a qualified medical interpreter, thus disregarding policies regarding language laws. A logic model served as a tool to identify factors which prevent the use of qualified medical interpreters. Factors included assumptions, inputs and resources, process implementation, outputs, as well as intended and unintended outcomes.

The literature provided consistent support for solutions to increase utilization of qualified medical interpreters in the healthcare environment. An essential first step in this process is to implement policies which make qualified medical interpreters available and encourage their use among healthcare staff. Policies should stress the interpreter’s professional obligation to maintain confidentiality during bilingual healthcare delivery.

Implementation of recommended solutions support compliance with language legislation which is also consistent with best practice standards. Future research is recommended to examine the clinical outcomes associated with the use of qualified medical interpreters, and the inherent risks when these essential services are not used as part of quality bilingual healthcare delivery.