Service Spotlight: Interpreter Services

November 14, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

Improved communication between patients and providers not only increases patient satisfaction, it also improves the quality of care. This is even more important for the diverse patient populations that seek care at Michigan Medicine.

If you have a patient that has limited English proficiency or is deaf or hard of hearing, Interpreter Services must be contacted. Using interpreters is required by federal law and is monitored by the Joint Commission.

Remember, family members cannot serve as medical interpreters.

So who makes up Interpreter Services? It’s a team of highly-trained professional medical interpreters. They offer 24/7 services in more than 70 spoken languages and American Sign Language.

Each medical interpreter goes through a rigorous, 40+-hour training course that focuses on the ethical standards of practice at Michigan Medicine. They also must attend a medical terminology course and workshops on palliative care and mental health. Additionally, all learn to follow well-established protocols, such as speaking in first person, communicating in measured, reflective tones and properly positioning her/himself by the patient or provider.

To request the assistance of Interpreter Services, contact them at 734-936-7021 or online at