Health care organizations must offer and provide language assistance

Speaking of Culturally Competent Care 4. Health care organizations must offer and provide language assistance

services, including bilingual staff and interpreter services, at no cost to each patient/consumer with limited English proficiency at all points of contact, in a timely manner during all hours of operation.

5. Health care organizations must provide to patients/consumers in their preferred language both verbal offers and written notices informing them of their right to receive language assistance services.

6. Health care organizations must assure the competence of language assistance provided to limited English-proficient patients/consumers by interpreters and bilingual staff. Family and friends should not be used to pro- vide interpretation services (except on request by the patient/consumer).

7. Health care organizations must make available easily understood patient- related materials and post signage in the languages of the commonly encountered groups and/or groups represented in the service area.

8. Health care organizations should develop, implement, and promote a writ- ten strategic plan that outlines clear goals, policies, operational plans, and management accountability/oversight mechanisms to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Structuring Culturally Competent Care 9. Health care organizations should conduct initial and ongoing organizational

self-assessments of CLAS-related activities and are encouraged to integrate cultural and linguistic competence–related measures into their internal au- dits, performance improvement programs, patient satisfaction assessments, and outcomes-based evaluations.’

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