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Why Bilingual Employees Don’t Cut It: The Importance of Certified Medical Interpreters

In the United States there are roughly 25 million Limited English Proficiency (LEP) residents, and all over the globe there are countless numbers of individuals living in places where they do not speak the primary local language.

These foreign language speakers have a harder time than most navigating everyday tasks. Effectively communicating in social situations in any public setting can, in some cases, be nearly impossible without an interpreter. And when it comes to important tasks like visiting the doctor, things don’t get any easier.

A large amount of research has pointed out disparities in care between LEP patients using ad-hoc vs. certified interpreters and has laid out recommendations for recruiting interpreters that will drive positive patient outcomes. Ultimately, strong medical interpreters should be well-versed in the languages they speak and fluent in medical terminology in order to be successful. Without certified interpretation services, LEP patients suffer.

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