The Importance of Certification for Medical Interpretation

Utilizing interpreters with certification for medical interpretation means having the best-qualified interpreters for your healthcare organization.

Medical interpreters are a key part of the medical community when communicating with Limited-English proficient patients. In any professional setting, effective communication is key, but when language barriers arise in a hospital or emergency situation, access to medically certified interpreters is critical.

For those working in the healthcare industry, communicating with LEP clients is essential and very common. The U.S. Census Bureau Reports at Least 350 Languages Spoken in U.S. Homes. 


Serving Limited-English Proficient Populations in Healthcare

Limited-English Proficiency characterizes any individual “whose primary language for communication is not English” and “is considered an individual with limited-English proficiency if the individual has a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.”  Immigrants to the United States come from many different language backgrounds and may be in various stages of English proficiency. Of the total immigrant population of 41.3 million in 2013, about half was LEP. Medical interpreters help provide effective communication for Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients and clients.

As a trusted service language service provider since 1991, Telelanguage knows the importance of having certified medical interpreters in hospitals and healthcare settings.  Over 70% of our current client base are healthcare entities.


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Four Reasons to Use Certified Medical Interpreters

  • Hospitals that receive federal funding, including Medicare and Medicaid, must provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and qualified interpreters.
  • Implementing language access programs and using certified interpreters in hospitals can reduce waste represented by overtreatment and medical errors.
  • Research suggests that LEP patients are more likely than English-speaking (ES) patients to experience safety events caused by communication errors.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act: “No person in the United States shall on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”

Healthcare organizations are realizing the significant benefits of working with interpreters who hold certification for medical interpretation. The benefits of using medically certified interpreters extend to risk management, cost control, compliance, staff adoption and higher patient satisfaction ratings.

Using certified medical interpreters in healthcare settings has never been so important, and with the number of LEP individuals rising in the United States, it is imperative that hospitals implement high-quality language access programs now.


Become a Certified Interpreter - TICP TrainingWhy Obtain Certification for Medical Interpretation? 

Certification for medical interpretation is an important way of separating qualified medical interpreters from the larger pool of less qualified interpreters. For interpreters seeking Medical Interpreting Certification, it’s important to consider a reputable training program to prepare themselves for the rigorous standards associated with medical interpreting. Medical and healthcare interpreters must have passed and obtained the state-mandated certification to work in such facilities.  Certified medical interpreters never cease in their learning and training as the certifications must be updated every few years. The certification process further qualifies that the interpreter is fit for servicing the medical and healthcare field, and is recognized by the state that they have met and surpassed all requirements.

The Telelanguage Interpreter Certification Program, or TICP, is a national certification program for Over-the-Phone and Face-to-Face interpreting. TICP training targets all industries, including healthcare, education, government, law enforcement, 9-1-1 call centers, financial institutions, business/commercial, and social community services.

Telelanguage provides certification for medical interpretation for our interpreters. We require 120 Hours of Academic Medical Training & Healthcare Interpreting Ethics, which is well above the National Board of Medical Interpreters Requirements.


How Telelanguage Can Help Healthcare Organizations With Certified Interpreters and Medical Translation Needs

On-Site Interpreting is a perfect solution for lengthy appointments or interviews planned in advance, complex, time-consuming issues, multiple patient appointments scheduled close to each other, when the Limited-English Speaker prefers to have the Interpreter on-site and where hand and body gestures are essential to get a message across.

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Telephonic Interpretation is a cost-effective interpretation solution ideal when medically trained interpreters are required quickly, when language barriers arise suddenly, or in emergency situations.

Video Remote Interpretation is a leading-edge technology that bridges the gap between over-the-phone and in-person interpreting. VRI promotes the highest level of accuracy in remote interpretation services

Medical Translation Services of vital documents may include newsletters, summaries, IEP notices, notification of rights, public notices, ordinances and rulings, handbooks, transcripts and home care instructions.

Learn more about the interpretation process from our new resource – Connecting Humanity through Technology: The Importance of Offering Language Services as an Organization. [Download the Free White Paper]


Telelanguage has over 4,000 interpreters ready to communicate in 300+ languages. Our team of certified medical interpreters is an integral and respected part of the medical community. We know making changes isn’t alway easy, that’s why we offer Call Volume Discount Plans exclusively for our healthcare clients. If you need help with compliance or are thinking about switching to a more reliable language services partner,  Contact Us for a free quote!


Certified medical interpreters ready to speak in over 300 languages!

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Certified interpreters for medical appointments are available telephonically, face to face, or by video remote!