Independent Medical Exams – IME Interpreters
When a doctor performs an independent medical examination (IME) on a patient who speaks limited or no English, professional IME interpreters are key to make an accurate diagnosis. IME interpreters are important for accurate results.
In order to achieve the highest level of communication between doctor and patient, all parties involved should understand the role and responsibilities of the interpreter. The right IME interpreter will make the IME successful.
3 Steps to Success With IME Interpreters
- Interpreter Selection: Select an interpreter with appropriate training and testing.
- Brief the Interpreter: The interpreter should be provided background information before the appointment so that she can perform to her highest capability.
- Role & Responsibility of the Interpreter: All parties involved should understand the role and responsibilities of the interpreter.
Selecting IME Interpreters
It is important to select a neutral, prepared and certified language interpreter for independent medical exams. Selecting the WRONG language interpreter could have detrimental effects on the medical exam. A neutral interpreter understands the role and responsibilities of the professional interpreter and act professionally at all times in accordance with their professional duties. Qualified IME interpreters are bound by the Code of Ethics for interpreters.
Briefing IME Interpreters
The interpreter should be provided background information before the appointment so that she can perform to her highest capability. Professional interpreters prepare for assignments in advance so they can accurately convey important messages. IME interpreters must be provided with information so that they can properly interpret. Background information may include:
- Patient’s name and date of birth
- Patient’s country of origin
- Profession (especially for workers’ compensation IME’s)
- Relevant medical background
Role & Responsibility of IME Interpreters
All parties involved should understand the role and responsibilities of the interpreter. All practicing healthcare interpreters, including IME interpreters, are expected to adhere to published codes of ethics for interpreters who work in the field of health care
The International Medical Interpreters Association lists the following 12 key codes for all medical interpreters:
- Interpreters will maintain confidentiality of all assignment-related information.
- Interpreters will select the language and mode of interpretation that most accurately conveys the content and spirit of the messages of their clients.
- Interpreters will refrain from accepting assignments beyond their professional skills, language fluency, or level of training.
- Interpreters will refrain from accepting an assignment when family or close personal relationships affect impartiality.
- Interpreters will not interject personal opinions or counsel patients.
- Interpreters will not engage in interpretations that relate to issues outside the provision of health care services unless qualified to do so.
- Interpreters will engage in patient advocacy and in the intercultural mediation role of explaining cultural differences/practices to health care providers and patients only when appropriate and necessary for communication purposes, using professional judgment.
- Interpreters will use skillful unobtrusive interventions so as not to interfere with the flow of communication in a triadic medical setting.
- Interpreters will keep abreast of their evolving languages and medical terminology.
- Interpreters will participate in continuing education programs as available.
- Interpreters will seek to maintain ties with relevant professional organizations in order to be up-to-date with the latest professional standards and protocols.
- Interpreters will refrain from using their position to gain favors from clients.
When the medical provider is relying on the IME interpreter to convey accurate and concise information, he or she is in fact relying on the medical interpreter. One mistake by the IME interpreter could mean that the independent medical exam results could be wrong.
INGCO International is proud to work with highly trained and certified IME interpreters across the United States. Contact us now to schedule your IME interpreter.