CLAS Standard 7
Standard 7's intent is to ensure that written patient related materials/vital documents and signage routinely provided in English are also available in the other commonly encountered languages.
Note: When a person's language does not exist in written form, interpreter assistance must be available to explain the contents of the document(s).
Patient Related Materials: Patient related materials need to be translated when they are vital to an individual's accessing and making educated decisions about health care.
Documents and forms include: Notices of free language assistance, applications, patient rights (including conflict and grievance resolution), consent forms; letters containing information regarding eligibility or participation criteria; notices pertaining to the reduction or denial of services and/or benefits and require a response from the beneficiary; medical and treatment instructions; and outreach materials.
Signage: Initial entry points including reception areas and waiting rooms need to have signage in the commonly encountered languages other than English. This signage must inform applicants and beneficiaries of their right to FREE language assistance services and invite them to identify themselves as persons needing such services.
The following example illustrates the need to have educational materials translated for patients.
An Arab woman had just given birth. Her Arab American mother in law was asked to translate the English "health teaching materials" to the new mother. All went well until the nurse reached the information on contraception. The mother in law refused to translate such information. She was part of a culture that valued large families and she wanted as many grandchildren as possible.