ISI Translation Services Launches On-Demand Web-Based Language Assessment Tool for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

Offers Five Free Spanish Language Assessments to Hospitals and Health Organizations Through Dec. 31

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In a move that gives healthcare facilities on-demand access to tools that determine language ability for ad hoc interpreting, ISI Translation Services ( today announced that its popular Interpreter Training & Assessment Program (ITAP) is now available online. ITAP is a proprietary web-based program that helps identify, screen and improve the skills of bilingual staff members and volunteers at medical facilities throughout the United States, so they can serve as ad hoc language facilitators as needed.

ISI is offering a package of five free Spanish language assessments to hospitals, health plans and health organizations with at least 200 employees, redeemable through Dec. 31. To determine eligibility for the five free tests, contact [email protected].

ISI’s ITAP is one of the only such programs in the country able to test for any language plus English. It helps healthcare facilities meet the linguistic and cultural requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, HIPAA, Medicare, Medicaid, Health Care Reform, JCAHO and state regulations. Beyond compliance, ITAP helps healthcare organizations improve overall quality of care and limited-English proficiency (LEP) patient compliance with medical instructions, through more accurate and culturally relevant communications.

Since creating ITAP in 1990, ISI has tested tens of thousands of individuals for the nation’s leading medical institutions.

“We’re giving healthcare facilities an easy, fast, nimble way to determine who can serve as reliable ad hoc interpreters,” said George Rimalower, ISI president. “Accurate healthcare interpreting requires more than just being bilingual. Language facilitators have to know specialized medical and colloquial terminology in both languages, while maintaining sensitivity toward any social or cultural issues affecting the patient. For patients, dealing with health issues is scary enough without language differences. Bridging a language gap in a hospital setting can turn a situation from unnecessarily confusing and scary to familiar and reassuring.”

ITAP consists of four modules that may be implemented as a whole or individually according to need:

  • Language Proficiency Assessment
  • Medical Terminology Workshop
  • Medical Interpreting Ethics and Protocol Workshop
  • Building Cultural Competency Workshop

The assessment determines which bilingual staff members have sufficient general and technical language proficiency to serve as ad hoc interpreters in a medical setting. ITAP works for all languages, screens both English and the second language, and screens both oral and written comprehension. ITAP is designed for ad hoc interpreters, and is not meant to screen for professional linguists.

ISI also offers training workshops that help eligible bilingual staff learn to provide quality interpreting that is both accurate and culturally relevant.

The Need for Trained Ad Hoc Healthcare Interpreters

According to California Senate Bill 1390, approximately 46 percent of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription drugs.

Medication errors are a frequent cause of patient readmissions to the hospital after being discharged, according to a New York Times article (“Aftercare Tips for Patients Checking Out of the Hospital,” June 18, 2010). The article quotes The New England Journal of Medicine as saying that one in five Medicare patients returns to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. In 2004, these readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion.

About ISI

ISI Translation Services, Inc. ( enables successful communication through full-service language and localization solutions, from a global team of linguists deeply rooted in the cultural and technical nuances of virtually every language used in business.

George Rimalower started translating in the ‘70s back when the typewriter was high-tech. He founded ISI in 1982 and was joined by his wife Cathi in 1986. Today, ISI is known worldwide for combining the latest technology with expert human touch at every stage – from project management to translating, editing, desktop publishing, proofreading and review – to enable successful communication in 100 languages and dialects. ISI serves a wide range of industries and organizations, specializing in healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceutical and financial services. ISI was one of the first to address the special linguistic and cultural needs of both non- and limited-English-proficient communities of the United States. ISI is based in Los Angeles, with hundreds of translators in the United States and worldwide.


Edge Communications, Inc.
Ken Greenberg, 818-990-5001
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California  District of Columbia

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Professional Services  Other Professional Services  General Health  Managed Care