First Qualified Interpreters Serve Patients at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
11/01/2011

CLEBURNE, Texas — Three staff members at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne recently qualified as Spanish language interpreters through Texas Health Resources’ Qualified Bilingual Interpreter (QBI) program. Dalia Aguilar and Olga Ingram, both from radiology, and Martha Petty, R.N., surgical unit, were the first interpreters in the Texas Health system to qualify under the new program.

The program allows bilingual employees to use their second language to communicate and interpret for patients who speak little or no English. QBI meets language service requirements for Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients.

“The program allows employees to use their language skills to enhance the care we provide at our hospitals,” said Ingram, who serves as the hospital’s Language Access Taskforce member. “It gives us the ability to communicate to our Spanish-speaking patients and increase patient satisfaction.”

Bilingual employees who want to participate in the program are tested to validate their language proficiency and then attend an orientation session. QBI employees document their interpreting encounters through an online tracking log to help monitor and improve the program and process.

“The qualified bilingual interpreter program is a great addition to the other services provided at Texas Health Cleburne, such as phone-based, face-to-face and sign-language interpretation, and the translation of documents,” said Ingram.

“Texas Health recognized bilingual employees bring communication skills and culture awareness to care-giving processes,” said Pat Stiver, Texas Health Cleburne administrative director and chair of the hospital’s Diversity Action Team and Language Access Team. “This can help enhance the care provided, promote medication knowledge, compliance and safety, and help patients and their families achieve better personal health care management.”

There are seven other qualified interpreters throughout Texas Health beyond the three employees at Texas Health Cleburne. The number of interpreters should grow to 50 with the completion of ongoing training. Languages other than Spanish may be added in 2012, based on the need at each hospital, said Robin Gordon, language consultant with Texas Health Resources.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.