LAS VEGAS – All Intermountain Health clinics and facilities in Nevada now have full interpretation services for every patient visit to provide accommodations for those who need communication assistance, whether due to a disability, such as the deaf or hard of hearing, or to Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
Interpretation services are offered FREE of charge in all facilities, at all points of contact, and during all hours of operation.
“Intermountain Health is committed to ensuring that all persons have an equal opportunity to access all care and services we offer,” said Keyona Cole, Chief Nursing Officer for Intermountain Health’s Desert Region and leads the health system’s DEI Committee in Nevada. “The communities we serve are diverse, and it is important that everyone has the same, equal access to high-quality care and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
In 2022, Intermountain Health provided interpretation services in 120 languages and about 53,000 patient encounters a month as a health system.
“Equity is one of Intermountain Health’s fundamental values, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone can receive care in their preferred language or in the language they understand,” said Carlos Martinez Morales, Language Services and Cultural Competence Manager at Intermountain Health.
Intermountain Health’s team of over 90 staff interpreters offer services in eight languages – Spanish, Portuguese, American Sign Language, Tongan, Samoan, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Marshallese – and contracts with multiple in-person and remote interpretation agencies that provide services in nearly 200 languages. Interpreters are required to be professionally trained and/or certified. Intermountain Health is a licensed trainer for professional medical interpreting classes that are offered several times a year.
For pre-scheduled appointments, patients should notify the scheduler of the need for interpretation for themselves or any family members during the appointment scheduling process, specifically of additional special needs or preferences such as in-person, video remote interpretation (iPad), or telephone interpretation. If in-person interpretation is desired, Intermountain Health will do our best to accommodate those requests.
“We want to make sure that all members of our community know that they can receive care through qualified interpreters regardless of their language preference. Their safety and wellness are our top priority,” said Martinez Morales.
In-person interpreters’ availability varies depending on the language, time of the day, and the facility’s location. If staff are unable to find a qualified in-person interpreter in a timely manner, a qualified video remote (VRI and/or audio-only (telephonic) interpreters will be made available to avoid delay in care. For emergency or unscheduled visits, patients should let caregivers at the reception desk know they would like an interpreter upon arrival.
Intermountain Health only allows qualified medical interpreters in facilities. Family members (especially children), friends, or non-trained bilingual individuals should not be relied upon as interpreters. Interpreters are also cultural mediators and bring context to cultural differences that may impact communication.
Professional interpreters will interpret everything that is said as it is said. They become the patient’s voice and will not add, take away, or change anything. Their goal is to make the conversation flow as if both people spoke the same language. They follow HIPAA guidelines to keep everything confidential.
For more information, visit https://intermountainhealthcare.org/about/non-discrimination-accessibility/language-services/
Intermountain Health currently has more than 60 clinics throughout Southern Nevada. These clinics include primary care, specialty care, Instacare (urgent care), and about half of these are myGeneration clinics that are dedicated to serving the unique needs of the senior population.