Substitute Senate Bill No. 539

Public Act No. 00-119

An Act Concerning Linguistic Access In Acute Care Hospitals.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

(NEW) Each acute care hospital in this state shall:

(1) Develop and annually review a policy on the provision of interpreter services to non-English-speaking patients;

(2) Ensure, to the extent possible, the availability of interpreter services to patients whose primary language is spoken by a group comprising not less than five per cent of the population residing in the geographic area served by the hospital;

(3) Prepare and maintain a list of qualified interpreters;

(4) Notify hospital staff of the requirement to provide interpreters to non-English-speaking patients;

(5) Post multilingual notices of the availability of interpreters to non-English-speaking patients;

(6) Review standardized forms to determine the need for translation for use by non-English-speaking patients;

(7) Consider providing hospital staff with picture and phrase sheets for communication with non-English-speaking patients; and

(8) Establish liaisons to non-English-speaking communities in the geographic area served by the hospital.

Approved May 26, 2000