The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and accreditation standards for healthcare interpreters
Coming up soon, Boostlingo will be attending CCHI’s 10 year anniversary summit as a global sponsor this October. CCHI (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters) has been offering an independent, national, comprehensive certification program to medical interpreters of all languages since 2009. Boostlingo has been attending CCHI’s summit almost every year and really respects what the commission has to offer and what they believe in. One factor in particular has been a learning experience for the whole team: accreditation.
As a well known and respected commission for healthcare interpreters, CCHI is the go-to source for the reasons why healthcare interpretation accreditation matters. Natalya Mytareva, CCHI’s Executive Director came forward with a response of what accreditation means to CCHI and gave three great reasons for the continued push on getting more accredited interpreters.
1. A healthcare interpreter is as important as any other trained professional in emergent health situations.
When CCHI was formed, the majority of the team were practicing healthcare interpreters and managers of interpreting services. The team was passionate about bringing the professionalism of interpreters to the same level as that of any healthcare providers. Basically, the CCHI team believed then and now that a medical interpreter’s job is just as important as a physician or a nurse.
Almost all healthcare providers have certification or licensure requirements that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA, the accreditation arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, was founded in the mid 1970s to review and accredit different healthcare certification programs. When CCHI started in 2009, they designed their exams to follow best practices and healthcare standards so that they could get their accreditation later on. Sure enough, in 2012, they received their CHI™-Spanish certification accredited with NCCA, and then in 2014 they accredited the CoreCHI™ certification.
2. Accreditation helps healthcare interpreters follow best practices and rules for success.
Another important reason for accreditation to CCHI is because they believe in following best practices and rules. As Natalya Mytareva would say is “common sense”. Like anything, for any process or program to be valid, it needs to follow established practices and “rules.” These specific healthcare interpretation practices require continuous psychometric monitoring of the test performance and continuous updates of the test content based on the current professional practice in the field. This is why CCHI has NCCA, as a neutral third party whose sole business is evaluating various testing programs, is in the best position to monitor our program.
CCHI believes accreditation pushes emerging healthcare interpreters to do their best at all times. It is the “high bar” that they continuously want to work hard to meet. Furthermore, CCHI submits annual reports about its exams to NCCA and undergoes a reaccreditation every 5 years.
3. CCHI is passionate about doing things right so that patients get the best.
Lastly, CCHI has always been passionate about doing the right thing, which for them means making accreditation the gold standard in healthcare interpretation. From the very beginning, they have developed a standard that keeps healthcare interpreters from guessing the “right way.” They are not a commercial entity, so they are not driven by the need to increase revenue. They are not an association, so they are not driven by the need to expand their membership. They focus solely on developing and administering the most comprehensive certification program for healthcare interpreters.
For us at Boostlingo, having CCHI interpreters in our Boostlingo Professional Interpreters Network means patients who use our service are connecting with the best. We do not require interpretation for our interpreters (for the simple reason that there are limited accreditation tests available based on language and region), but we are always searching for accredited interpreters. The CCHI accreditation is a litmus test that other interpreters may gain through years of experience. The CCHI accreditation is a way for language service providers to connect with qualified healthcare interpreters who understand the industry.