Frequently Asked Questions about requesting an interpreter

Frequently Asked Questions about requesting an interpreter

Do patients have to bring their own interpreters?
How do I request an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter?
When should I send the interpreter request for a patient's appointment?

What if the patient is referred to/from another clinic? Who should schedule the interpreter? 
How do I know if the patient needs an interpreter?
What do I do if the patient cancels or re-schedules his/her appointment and there was an interpreter scheduled?

What do I do if I need to cancel or re-schedule an appointment for a patient who is LEP?
The patient has someone with him/her who speaks English. Why can't that person be the interpreter for the patient?
An interpreter was requested for the patient and the patient is here, but no interpreter has arrived yet. What do I do?

How can I get a translation of a document?
How do I schedule an interpreter for a patient if I do not use Epic?


Do patients have to bring their own interpreters? 
Vanderbilt provides interpreters for free. Patients do not have to bring an interpreter. Please don't ask the patient to bring his/her own interpreter.

How do I request an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter?
Contact Bridges directly at www.hearingbridges.org or (615) 248.8828.

When should I send the interpreter request for a patient's appointment?
You don't need to call the office to make an appointment unless you need an interpreter for surgeries, procedures not scheduled through EPIC, or last-minute requests. When a non-English-speaking patient schedules an appointment, we receive an automatic interpeter request. The patient's preferred language must be in the Demographics section of his or her chart.

Interpreter Service staff will assign an interpreter. If you schedule an appointment after 4 p.m., we can't provide an interpreter for the morning of the following day. If you need an interpreter on short notice, please call (866) 874-3972 or (877) 746-4674.

What if the patient is referred to/from another clinic? Who should schedule the interpreter?
If the patient is referred or is scheduled for a procedure in another location, the referring clinic personnel should advise the other clinic that the patient is LEP and that an interpreter should to be scheduled.

How do I know if the patient needs an interpreter?
Please ask the patient if he or she needs an interpreter and make sure that the computer demographic information reflects the patient's LEP status.

What do I do if the patient cancels or re-schedules his/her appointment and there was an interpreter scheduled?
The interpreter will be cancelled automatically and the new appointment will show up in the list of new requests.

What do I do if I need to cancel or re-schedule an appointment for a patient who is LEP?
If you need to contact the patient to cancel or reschedule, please our telephone interpretation service at (866) 874-3972 or (877) 746-4674.

The patient is with someone who speaks English. Why can't that person be the interpreter?
Our patients have a right to have a trained professional interpret for them. Medical interpreters are highly skilled professionals and have specialized training in interpretation technique, medical terminology and interpreter ethics. Please do not ask the patient's family members or friends to interpret for the patient.

An interpreter was requested for the patient and the patient is here, but no interpreter has arrived. What do I do?
We offer a service that provides interpreters over the phone. Phone interpreters can be used for check-in if your on-site interpreter has not arrived or when an on-site interpreter is not available. To use this service, call (866) 874-3972 or (877) 746-4674.

How can I get a translation of a document?
If you need a document translated or revised, please e-mail your document in its original editable format to translations@vanderbilt.edu.  Please do not use Babblefish, Google Translate or other online translation tools.

How do I schedule an interpreter for a patient if I do not use Epic?
If you do not use Epic, please email your request to Interpreter Services by clicking here.