The Pacific Northwest Hub for Health Care Language Access
A Revolutionary Model for Improving Health Outcomes

 

The Pacific Northwest Interpreter Hub
Better Care, Better Health, Better Communities

It's time for new solutions.

That's why the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association (OHCIA) has led the charge in building a collaborative new model for how health care language access works in the Pacific Northwest.  

Partnering with key stakeholders in the health care interpreter professional community, the OHCIA is ready to implement a game changing series of programs called the Pacific Northwest Hub for Health Care Language Access (the Hub for short).

what is the hub?

The Hub is a revolutionary model for health care language access with three main objectives:

  1. Improving Health Outcomes in the Pacific Northwest
  2. Providing Workforce Development Opportunities for Interpreters, Especially Refugees, Immigrants, and Asylees
  3. Building a Collaborative Health Care Language Access Model for Other States to Follow

To accomplish these objectives, there are four main programs of the Hub:

 

 

IT'S TIME FOR NEW SOLUTIONS.

That's why the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association (OHCIA) has led the charge in building a collaborative new model for how the Pacific Northwest pool of interpreters connect.

Partnering with key stakeholders in the health care interpreter professional community, the OHCIA is ready to implement a game changing series of programs called the Pacific Northwest Hub for Health Care Language Access (the Hub for short).

WHAT IS THE HUB?

The Hub is a revolutionary model for health care language access with three main objectives:

  1. Improving Health Outcomes in the Pacific Northwest
  2. Providing Workforce Development Opportunities for Interpreters, Especially Refugees, Immigrants, and Asylees
  3. Building a Collaborative Health Care Language Access Model for Other States to Follow

To accomplish these objectives, there are four main programs of the Hub:

web based
interpreter portal
 

team of master interpreters
 

Health care provider partnership

advocacy for better laws
 


phase I: web based interpreter portal

What: The Web Based Interpreter Portal is an online connection point where interpreter agencies and others can find quality interpreters and where interpreters can find more work opportunities.  Interpreters who become part of the portal will Interpreters will have to meet minimum standards for training, background checks, etc. to be able to join the portal.  Interpreter agencies will have a membership to the portal with a monthly subscription fee.  

Why: Currently, no central network or standards of quality exist for health care interpreters who work for interpreter agencies.  As a result, interpreter agencies struggle to find quality interpreters, as well as interpreters for specific high demand languages (such as Spanish, Arabic, Somali, and others).  Additionally, health care interpreters often have a hard time getting enough hours of work in a week.

The portal create a central connection point for agencies and interpreters, to expand access to quality interpreters of all languages, and to standardize the requirements for interpreters, resulting in a higher quality pool of interpreters and more work opportunities for interpreters.

Who Benefits: Health Care Interpreters (more work opportunities), Interpreter Agencies (more access to better interpreters), Health Care Providers (more professional interpreters to work with), Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients (better access to quality health care), Health Systems and Insurance/Payer Companies (overall lower costs due to better health care for LEP patients)

When: The portal is scheduled to be up and running by the end of 2016.


phase 2: team of master interpreters

What: The Team of Master Interpreters is a program to recruit, train, mentor, and coach Pacific Northwest interpreters.  Working with a set levels of standards, OHCIA accredited trainers will help interpreters move up in their level of skills and knowledge through coaching and mentorship.  Additionally, these trainers will recruit new talent to become professional interpreters.

Why: With the need for interpreters expanding with Oregon's population growth, and the current pool of interpreters lacking standards, the Team of Master Interpreters is essential to elevating the interpreter profession while expanding access to quality interpreters.  This program would create the kind of meaningful workforce development that would motivate interpreters to pursue higher standards of excellence.  It would also encourage bilingual community members to give more consideration to interpreting as a viable career opportunity.

Who Benefits: Health Care Interpreters (better career path), Interpreter Agencies (more access to quality interpreters), Health Care Providers (more professional interpreters to work with), Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients (better access to quality health care), Health Systems and Insurance/Payer Companies (overall lower costs due to better health care for LEP patients)

When: The Team of Master Interpreters will be in the test phases by the end of 2016, with a proposed launch by mid-2017.


phase 3: health care provider trainings

What: The Health Care Provider Training Program is an effort to help the Pacific Northwest's health care clinicians and staff understand the role of the interpreter.  These 2 hour or 4 hour trainings would in an experiential way help providers understand why and how an interpreter does their job, and how to make a united team of language access professionals and health care providers.

Why: Many interpreters and interpreter agencies run into problems daily with providers not understanding or respecting the interpreter's unique role in the medical team.  As a result, interpreters are often unable to proper communicate the patient's voice and needs, resulting in larger health disparities for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.  With a better understanding, health care providers would be able to collaborate more with the interpreter's critical role.

Who Benefits: Health Care Interpreters (stronger working relationship with providers), Interpreter Agencies (less complaints from interpreters and providers), Health Care Providers (better understanding of role of interpreter), Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients (better care from a united team of interpreter and provider), Health Systems and Insurance/Payer Companies (overall lower costs due to better health care for LEP patients)

When: The Health Care Provider Training Program is estimated to launch by Spring 2017.


phase 4: advocacy for better laws

What: This phase would focus on pursing local government and legislative support for the health care interpreter professional community.  This could include advocating for more standards of practice for interpreters, and pursuing laws that require insurance companies and payers to reimburse language access services.

Why: Currently, insurance companies are not required to reimburse language access services, which leaves a large burden on health care providers, especially when they are treating Medicare and Medicaid patients who have limited English proficiency (LEP).  Also, there is not enough legislation regulating standards of practice for interpreters.

Who Benefits: Health Care Interpreters (more support from legislation and local government), Interpreter Agencies (less competitive pricing with insurance reimbursement of language access services), Health Care Providers (more funding to treat Medicaid/Medicare individuals with limited English proficiency), Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients (better access to quality health care), Health Systems and Insurance/Payer Companies (overall lower costs due to better health care for LEP patients)

When: Advocacy work would be ongoing from now until 2020 and beyond.


who is collaborating with us?

The following organizations are working with us to create these programs:

Anderson Interpreting Service
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement
Columbia Language Services
Global Linguistics Associates
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
Kaiser Permanente
Language Line
Linguava Interpreters
Mindlink Resources
Oregon Health Authority
Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion
Oregon Medical Association
Oregon Office of Rural Health
Oregon Primary Care Association
Passport to Languages
Professional Interpreters
Purple Communications
Sache International Language
Telelanguage
Verbio


How do i get involved?

As this is a revolutionary series of programs, we need lots of help!

Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Volunteer to help in the design and implementation of these programs
  • Promote the Hub and its benefits to your committee
  • Ask your organization to sponsor our annual conference (the official launch pad of the Hub)
  • Let us know of grants or funding opportunities for the Hub

If you interested in helping out in any way, please contact Austin McRobbie, our Program Manager (503-893-9660 support@ohcia.org)


launching the hub - october 1st, 2016

At our 4th Annual Conference this year, we will be officially launching the Hub!  Be sure to be there!"

Conference Theme: All Together: The Language Access Revolution

Saturday, October 1st
8 AM to 5 PM
OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building
Portland, OR
Free to Attend