consenting foreign language speakers (without a translation staff)

Looking for smaller hospitals to weigh in on how you are consenting non-English speaking patients? i.e. is your staff reading consent form over language translation line? Do you allow family to translate any forms?  Is there a notation made about the translation?  We have printed translated forms available in Spanish only.


  • Bumping this in the hopes of getting some responses.
  • Curious if there are any answers? Anyone?
  • It doesn't seem that folks really took to this new format.  I was so excited to see an email notification about your comment though! At least now I know I will get one if someone does decide to post, lol.

  • Honestly, that's what I was testing out myself! I'm trying to put something in the Jan. 22 IJC with instructions on signing up, etc. Maybe that will help. 
  • Great idea.
  • I have not received any notifications on anything I've posted or responded to.  Is there something in settings that is needed to be set up?
  • Honestly, that's what I was testing out myself! I'm trying to put something in the Jan. 22 IJC with instructions on signing up, etc. Maybe that will help. 
  • To respond to the question above, we are a behavioral health organization and we usually read the form and have the interpreter translate what we are saying.   We have translated some documents when necessary.   However, there is new guidance from OCR at this link you should review

  • Yes, I'm trying to get together instructions now -- if you click in the upper right hand part of the window, where the Person Icon is under the search line, it should say Profile, click on that, then there should be an 'Edit Profile' to the right of your name. Click on that and there's a box on the right that says notifications. You should be able to select how you want to get them there.

    I'm asking our folks if there's an easier way to do that. But that's how I did it. 
  • Leah, Thanks for the response, will check your link.

    I'm not aware of any settings I can control. Let me know if you get an email about this comment!

    I do miss the "daily digest" feature of the old forum. That is how I was alerted to new questions. I suspect that is why we don't get much participation here - no one is alerted to the new questions being posted.

  • Some sort of alert for these would be good too. I don't check it every day.

    Our non-English consenting has been frustrating. We do use the language line, but we don't have consents in every language and not all of our consents are in Spanish.

    The problem we have identified is that if we write it in Spanish on the Spanish consent (with the translator's help), the OR staff that may not be able to read Spanish doesn't know how to verify the consent well either.

    Definitely would love to hear suggestions!

    Thanks AJ for the information!

  • AJ - I just looked under the notifications tab - it only shows anything I've posted or responded to.  Does not allow to set for a notification to be sent to me that a new discussion/question or response was posted.   I miss the email notifications because I don't always check this forum but do read and respond to the emails.  Guess, I will just have to remember to check here more frequently.  Hopefully others will get more involved as well. 
  • edited February 2018
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  • When I worked at a smaller hospital (50 beds), we would often use a translator via phone.  This was available to us via a 24/7 company we contracted with.  We would read the English consent to the translator who would then translate the content to the patient's preferred language.  We never used families during the consent process.

    Hope this helps! (I too would love to receive notifications from this group as I often forget to check it but would love to participate more often).

  • Many of our healthcare clients use iPads with translation software on them to facilitate communication with non-english speakers as in-person interpreters are not always available.

    The nurse or staff speak into the iPad and a cartoon person on the iPad then translates it to the patient - similarly the patient responds to the iPad with their answer and it translates it back for the staff member.

    The software documents all this automatically so you don't end up having to manually document a lot of information. I work for a company that sells carts to hospitals that supports the tech, which is why I know, you can see an example here.

    Also, I saw a bunch of people wondering how to get notified of updates to a discussion.

    If you go to the top right of the page there is a green person icon. If you click that and go to your profile you can edit your notification settings to get email on various updates. By default, mine was set just for popups, not emails.

    Hope that Helps!
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