Bilingual Patient Navigation: The Next Step in Language Access
An interpreter can do an excellent interpretation and still leave the patient/client understanding very little. As an interpreter, there is nothing more we can do. But where does that leave the patient?
This presentation will describe the Bilingual Patient Navigation program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which started in 2008 as an experimental program to assist Hispanic and Somali families with medically complex children in learning to navigate the chaotic waters of the U.S. healthcare system. In addition to interpreting, these Bilingual Patient Navigators taught families to interact effectively with the healthcare system and assured that they understood both their children’s medical condition and treatment plan. They educated healthcare staff about cultural practices, and on occasion, they mediated cultural differences between families and staff. This presentation will share the metrics associated with the program’s success, identify challenges and discuss how navigators and interpreters together can provide a comprehensive service that both improves patient care and – perhaps – provides a “next step” for experienced healthcare interpreters in their career path.
Presenter Bio: Cynthia Roat is an international consultant on language access in health care, based in the United States. Author of many key resources in the field, she is a trainer of interpreters, educators and healthcare providers, as well as assisting healthcare facilities in improving their language access services. Ms. Roat is a founding member and past Co-chair of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and is widely recognized as an engaging public speaker and assiduous advocate for limited-English-proficient populations.
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