Twenty Years of Training Language Access Professionals

Patient Guides TM

In the ever-changing world of health care, there are a lot of roles out there: patient navigator, care coordinator, patient advocate and so many more. We believe patient guides are the solution to providing quality, patient-centered care that is linguistically and culturally appropriate. We partner with hospitals to maximize the impact of their interpreter services program to effectively support every patient.


Patient Guidance

  • Patient guides are experienced medical interpreters that serve as patient navigators. The term patient guide is used to highlight the new role and responsibilities of the medical interpreter.

  • Patient guide programs support patients with the greatest needs inside the health care system: people with limited English proficiency and low health literacy.

  • Patient guide programs build on existing capacity. Without creating a new department or making significant administrative changes, existing staff interpreters can better serve patients and members of the treatment team.

  • Patient guide training provides a career ladder for medical interpreters. With additional training and skills, medical interpreters can serve as patient guides. This creates new professional opportunities for staff interpreters and helps hospitals retain their most qualified and experienced interpreters.

  • Patient guides can help hospitals provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services at every point of care. Patient guides are trained to support patients throughout the care pathway.

Benefits of Patient Guides

  • Patient guides help patients connect to hospital services and follow-up care. Patient guides improve patient and provider satisfaction, decrease ER utilization and no-show rates, and increase patient adherence to treatment plans.

  • Patient guides save hospitals money. Studies have shown the return on investment for patient guide programs can be significant. For every $1 spent on Patient guides, the savings can range from more than $2 – $6, depending on the clinical setting.

  • Patient guides improve health outcomes. Low-income and minority communities generate the highest medical costs and have the lowest life expectancy and survival rates. Patient guide programs reduce discrepancies in health outcomes, and may be the key to addressing health disparities.

Why should medical interpreters be patient guides?

  • Many medical interpreters can serve as links between health care facilities and the communities they serve

  • Medical interpreters are trusted by patients and health care providers

  • Medical interpreters are familiar with the health care system and have firsthand knowledge of the facilities where they work

  • Medical interpreters may already be doing this job, without training about the health care system or patient education methodologies

  • Medical interpreters are part of the existing workforce.


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