NYC public hospitals are a United Nations of health care - serving 1.3 million patients every year who speak about 100 different languages. Our long tradition of caring for new immigrant New Yorkers has put us in a unique position to have language services that are a model other hospital systems can replicate to meet new guidelines established by the New York State Department of Health. Accurate language translation and interpretation services help reduce medical errors and increase the patient's ability to participate fully in health care decisions.
Visit the New York Immigration Coalition web site and read the new regulations.
- HHC has adopted telephonic services that provide all
our facilities with immediate access to professional interpretation services
in 150 languages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Our policies, health education materials, discharge
instructions and many other written communications are available in the 11
"HHC languages" spoken by most of our patients, such as Spanish, French,
Haitian Creole, Chinese, Russian and Urdu.
- We have developed specialized medical interpretation
training for 200 bilingual and multilingual staff and volunteers in our
- Our facilities commonly display multilingual
signage that has received national recognition from the Society for
Environmental Graphic Design.
- Like in the UN, the TEMIS system (Team/Technology
Enhanced Medical Interpreting System) at Bellevue and Kings County hospitals,
provides simultaneous interpretation using wireless technology.
- HHC has invested some $30 million over the last
few years to support and expand these programs.
- We partner with the NY Immigration Coalition and other advocacy organizations to get the message out to immigrants about all the services we provide.
See examples of HHC's multilingual messages to immigrant New Yorkers.
See and hear multilingual messages about HHC Options - our health care financial assistance program for all New Yorkers.