Anyone who has faced the challenge of visiting a hospital in a non-English-speaking country knows both how frustrating and how frightening it can be. When there is any impediment to the healthcare professional’s ability to discuss your situation and options or your own ability to ask questions, the likelihood of receiving the care you need is compromised, sometimes dangerously.
Ensuring that communication is not a job for the untrained or the inexperienced; the risks are obvious. To help promote patient access and safety, the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters recently took an important step forward by launching its National Registry of Certified Medical Interpreters.
The registry is a searchable database of medical translators who have passed the board’s oral and written examinations. Interpreters can be searched by a range of criteria, including city, credentials, language, and state, among other details. And if you are a healthcare organization or employer, you can do so for free.
The move is part of a larger effort by the board to promote greater patient safety. Starting in October 2009, the board initiated the exams, with successful applicants earning their Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) designation. To date, approximately 300 interpreters have either completed the exams or are in the process of doing so.
The principal responsibility of healthcare organizations is the health of the patients they serve. The CMI certification and registry mark a significant advancement in that effort, alerting both the industry and those who rely on it that experience and training are central to effective medical translation. Learn more about the CMI designation in the board’s press release.
Till next time,
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