Harris Health is committed to respecting the dignity and rights of all our patients.
- To acknowledge and adhere to Harris Health’s Patient Rights and Responsibilities.
- To listen attentively to patients and their family members and to respond to all questions, concerns, and needs in a timely and compassionate manner.
- To provide the same level of care and service to all patients regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, age, or other legally protected status.
- To share important information about a patient’s care in a patient’s or a patient’s family members’ preferred language, and in a clear, professional, and understandable manner.
- To respect a patient’s decisions regarding his or her care, including the consent for treatment or the decision to change or withdraw treatment.
A patient who does not speak English requests that her 13-year old daughter interpret for her while the patient’s physician explains the patient’s diagnosis. Can the daughter interpret for the patient?
No. Harris Health policy 3.52 provides that you should never rely on a minor child or another family member to interpret on behalf of a patient, except in emergency circumstances when a qualified interpreter is not available. However, Harris Health does permit family members to be present to assist the patient in understanding information communicated to the patient through a qualified interpreter.
I speak fluent Spanish but I have not been qualified as a bilingual workforce member. Is it okay for me to speak to my patients in Spanish or to interpret for my coworkers?
No. Only workforce members who have been qualified as a bilingual workforce member may speak directly to his or her patients in a language other than English. Further, only qualified Harris Health interpreters may interpret for a patient who does not speak English. Qualified bilingual workforce members may not interpret.
POLICIES TO KNOW
- Harris Health’s Patient Rights & Responsibilities
- Harris Health Policy 3.52, Non-Discrimination in Access to Services, Programs, and Facilities
- Harris Health Policy 4215, Consent for Medical Treatment and Identification of a Surrogate Decision-Maker
- Harris Health Policy 4128, Advance Directives
- Harris Health Policy 7.07.02, Inpatient Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders
- Harris Health Policy 7.07, End of Life Care Decision
- Harris Health Policy 4605, Patient Visitor Policy