Health translators and interpreters in national healthcare systems
In this chapter, we begin with an overview of health translators and interpreter roles in health systems to establish the where and how of their influence with patients, providers, and systems. Since health systems should move toward evidence-based practices and policies, we provide a series of recommendations for evidence creation through research that should strengthen the visibility of interpreters and translators in health systems while also improving how we capture their contributions to patient outcomes. Recommendations for both qualitative and quantitative study design are provided. Healthcare translators and interpreters play an important role in improving patient outcomes in individuals with a language barrier. In as much as they facilitate patient-provider communication, they can also serve as cultural brokers in a healthcare encounter. Both their interpreting skills and their ability to serve as cultural brokers can influence patient outcomes – positively and negatively.