Language Services - SBH Health System

Language Services

SBH Health System is located in the Bronx, where 57% of households speak a language other than English, and over 50% speak Spanish. To meet the healthcare needs of patients with Limited English Proficiency, as well as those with vision, hearing, and speech impairment, SBH Health System launched the Linguistic and Culturally Appropriate Assistance Program (LCAAP) in 2006.

Since its introduction, LCAAP has made great strides to promote meaningful communication between St. Barnabas Hospital’s staff and the community. SBH today provides more than 160,000 minutes of interpretation every year in over 140 languages, including the most popular in this area – Spanish, French Creole, Albanian, Mandarin, Arabic and Vietnamese – as well as American Sign Language.  This averages to 700 requests for interpreting every month.

Healthcare interpreting is a specialized skill that requires knowledge of medical terminology, diseases, procedures and equipment from English to any specific target language. Finding a medical interpreter has become easier with the installation of Cyracom©, a new system recently implemented at SBH throughout patient units, in ambulatory care and in the emergency department. Using blue dual handset phones, Cyracom provides faster access (no dialing is necessary) and better clarity of sound with simply the push of a button.

For the deaf and hard of hearing and the non-verbal, video interpreting monitors are available 24-7 to connect to a sign language interpreter that connects through Wi-Fi.

Our physicians and nurses are trained in the use of these modalities, and we have ongoing hands-on workshops to make sure staff is adequately trained to help patients in need of language assistance. You can download and read the complete list of our Interpreter Services.

New York State requires all hospitals to provide free healthcare interpretation for patients within 10 minutes of arriving in the ER, and 20 minutes elsewhere in the hospital. This is known as the “10-20 rule.”

With concern for the comfort, care and wellbeing of our patients and in compliance with regulations, St. Barnabas is committed to providing cultural and language assistance to all who enter our doors.

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