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105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1105. - Interpreter Service - Access

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All acute care hospitals must provide competent interpreter services at no cost to non-English speaking patients.  The patient’s acceptance or refusal of the interpreter services must be documented in his or her medical record. 

Interpreter services in the emergency department must meet the following criteria:

  1. Interpreters should be available on an on call basis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. The collection of information from the patient’s family or guardian should not take the place of providing adequate interpreter services. 
  3. The hospital must not encourage or force the use of family members as interpreters.
  4. Minor children are not allowed to act as interpreters.
  5. Hospitals must develop policies to deal with contracting for certain languages on an on call basis where it can be shown there is no way to anticipate the need of such a language interpreter or if the current interpreter cannot provide adequate services. 
  6. The hospital must develop written protocols to have staff deal with case specific interpreters.
  7. The hospital must maintain written procedures to be able to communicate efficiently with non-English speaking patients. 

Current as of June 2015