To begin with, the Department of Health and Human Services website has some guidance documents on notices of privacy practices for patients. If you’ve ever interpreted in well, any medical setting, you know that health insurance plans and most healthcare providers are required to provide a copy of this notice to patients.
I have (unfortunately) run into situations where practices are under-prepared for their LEP patients and either don’t have a copy on hand in their language, their privacy practices are badly translated, or they’re using a check-in tablet service that is not configured properly to provide translated versions of forms. While all of this shouldn’t happen, it’s important to familiarize yourself with such documents because you never know when you may have to do a sight translation.
The nice thing about the HHS website is that everything is available at least in English and Spanish. Many pages are also available in other common languages as well!
Unfortunately there aren’t any handy documents at the Department of Health and Human Services website for another common disclosure: Patient Rights and Responsibilities (darn!). You can go to their rights & responsibilities page which does have a lot of useful links, but as I said, there’s not one big document to sight translate. This is probably due to the fact that even though it’s similar among facilities, it often has small variations, even between practices within the same network!
Instead, I’ll share with you some links to a bunch of different prominent healthcare organizations’ “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” disclosures!
- Fauquier Health – Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Well isn’t this just cool? In my research I stumbled upon a link to a blog of a PR specialist at the hospital system of the county I grew up in in Virginia. She posted a bunch of images of their (then, newly-revised) “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” from 2007. This may seem like a long time ago, but the “revised” dates on the bottom of many of the documents I regularly do sight translations of are often just as old!
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Each of their facilities has their own version of their patient rights and responsibilities, and all of them are linked on this one handy page in common languages ranging from Spanish to Amharic!
- Mayo Clinic – Patient Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)
Mayo Clinic actually has a PDF version of their English “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” pamphlet available online.
- American Hospital Association Patient’s Bill of Rights
While not strictly a “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” disclosure, this page is very similar to something you might find when going to a doctor’s office or hospital.
Bonus! I also found this excellent cached version of a PDF from the American Psychiatric Association entitled “Principles for the Provision of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services: A Bill of Rights.” Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a link to the original document anywhere, but I was able to save a copy of the PDF that you can download directly from my site. This is basically a version of “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” for mental health care.
For the sake of brevity, I won’t be adding lengthy descriptions to these links because I feel they’re fairly self-explanatory. Please let me know if at any point any of these links become broken as I have saved copies of these forms on my hard drive for future reference.
Personal Medical History
If you’ve never had to do a sight translation of one of these forms, boy are you lucky! Simple as they often are, they’re long and often list off a slew of prior medical conditions that you have to rattle off to the patient.
Medical Release of Information
The nice thing about doing a sight translation of medical release of information forms is that they often have a few short paragraphs of text explaining the purposes of the release, as well as how to revoke consent. It’s a pretty straightforward but fundamental document to translate!
- Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information (PDF)
- eforms – HIPAA Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Health Information (PDF)
- UP Health System Marquette – Release of Information (PDF)
- Pacific Orthopaedic Associates – HIPAA Compliant Authorization for the Release of Patient Information Pursuant to 45 CFR 164.508 (PDF)
Consent to Treat
For an excellent description of informed consent by the National Cancer Institute (that is honestly a fantastic sight translation) click here! While some forms are generic, others are special forms for specific procedures.
- American Council of Emergency Physicians – Consent for Medical/Surgical Care/Emergency Treatment and Child’s Medical Information (PDF)
- Alpharetta Cardiology, LLC. – Stress Test Consent Form (PDF)
- eforms – Chiropractic Consent Form (PDF)
- Ohio State University – Consent to Treat Minor Children (PDF)
- Piedmont Healthcare – Conditions of Service and Consent for Treatment (PDF)
- Breast Screening Form (PDF) from Baton Rouge General
- Emergency Information Form (EIF) for Children with Special Healthcare Needs (PDF) from American Council of Emergency Physicians
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Patient Screening Form (PDF) from Patient Safety Association
UPDATE: June 18, 2020
Yuliya S., a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (Russian) and Interpreter Trainer, was kind enough to point out that the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare has a guidance document on sight translation and written translation for medical interpreters. I felt the need to include this as an addendum to the article since it touches on the types of documents we should and should not be doing sight translations of as medical interpreters. I highly recommend reviewing it as it sets some pretty clear guidelines that even I wasn’t familiar with. That being said, even if the documents presented in this article are not suitable for sight translations in the field, it is excellent practice for other types of sight translations you may be asked to do![Cover photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash]