Language and Translation Services

Interpreters for Patients with Limited English Proficiency

Patients with Limited-English Proficiency (LEP) will receive care and service that meet the same standards as those who are English speaking. Ochsner Health System's policy is intended to assure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 regarding the responsibilities of recipients of Federal financial assistance from HHS to persons with Limited-English Profeciency (LEP). Ochsner Health System (OHS) ensures equal access to LEP patients by providing effective means by which LEP patients can communicate with OHS personnel. To ensure effective communications, OHS hires bilingual staff, hires staff interpreters, contracts with an outside interpreter service, and uses the Language Line Services telephone interpreter service.

In order to ensure effective communication and to protect the confidentiality of patient information and privacy, the patient will be informed that the services of a qualified interpreter are available to him/her at no additional charge. Only after having been so informed, the patient may choose to rely on a family member or friend in a particular situation. The choice of the patient and presence of an interpreter will be documented after every visit.

Language services are available 24 hours/day, 7 days per week free of charge. Face-to-face interpreter service is available at Ochsner Medical Center - New Orleans directly through the International Health Services Department at (504)842-3719 Monday - Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During all remaining times, the Hospital Switchboard operators act as liaison to access face-to-face interpreter service. The International staff has language capability that meets the most frequently demanded language, Spanish, and maintains a database of OHS personnel who are fluent in other languages and are available to act as interpreters in "as needed" situations. When a face-to-face interpreter is not readily available, the area requiring service may access the Language Line Services through the International Department during office hours or through the Hospital Switchboard Operators between 5:00 pm and 7:00 am on weekdays, weekends and holidays.

Translating Documents in a Foreign Language

It is Ochsner Health System's policy to ensure that patients with Limited-English Proficiency (LEP) receive adequate written information in their native language, as is reasonable and appropriate to understand the course of and to make informed decisions regarding their care. The International Health Services Department will facilitate written translation services for patient education materials, consent forms, and similar documents upon request.

Language Services to Hearing and Speech Impaired Patients

Ochsner Health System (OHS) provides communication assistance for hearing and speech impaired patients to maintain organizational standards of quality of care and customer service through a variety of auxiliary aids including but not limited to sign language interpreters, note takers, TDD devices and amplified telephones.

Communication assistance service for hearing and speech impaired patients will be available 24 hours/day, 7 days per week free of charge, through the use of TDD devices, and/or the Deaf Action Center of Greater New Orleans (DAC), an agency that offers interpreter referral services for hearing impaired persons and with which OHS have a formal agreement. Access to one or more of these services will be made by the Patient Advocate or the Clinical Administrator. The International Health Services Department is a resource as needed.

In order to ensure effective communication and to protect the confidentiality of patient information and privacy, the patient will be informed that the services of a qualified interpreter are available to him/her at no additional charge. Only after having been so informed, the patient may choose to rely on a family member or friend to be their interpreter. Under no circumstances will a family member or friend be coerced by any member of hospital staff into being the interpreter for the patient.

Vision Impaired Services

Patient's rights and responsibilities are available in Braille. Community services for the visually impaired include:

  • Lighthouse for the Blind at 504-899-4501 or 888-792-0163
  • Radio for the Blind as WRBH 88.3 FM