In this important section of our site, our clients will find that LUNA pledges to provide exemplary language solutions with confidence about the quality, confidentiality and safety of our services. Whether our services are at a private event or in a medical, legal, educational, corporate, or government setting, our language providers conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. They follow national ethical standards and LUNA’s Code of Professional Conduct, are trained in HIPAA and other related privacy standards, and receive annual updates about changes in the law. All non-essential documents with private information are either destroyed or if stored, kept behind lock and key. Electronic information is encrypted and password protected.
We train our providers to follow the policies and procedures of our clients, whether it be a look of assurance, cell phone policies, or even hand washing procedures. In response to evolving industry standards set forth by the Joint Commission and the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, we collect extensive compliance documents on our language providers and maintain stringent minimum qualifications in terms of certifications, training and experience. These extra efforts not only provide assurance to our clients, but promote the safety of our consumers we serve together.
Code of Ethics
We ensure that all contract interpreters and translators utilized to perform services are required to sign and agree to uphold specified professional and ethical standards. These ethical standards support the standards for interpreters set by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) and the American Bar Association (ABA), intend to support the provision of equal access to services under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and protect privacy of personal information under the HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
- Professional integrity: Interpreters and translators shall demonstrate professionalism and personal integrity, including: If the interpreter or translator believes he or she may have interpreted/translated inaccurately or incompletely, he or she will make this known and, if possible, provide a corrected interpretation/translation. If the interpreter or translator believes he or she is so impacted by the content to be interpreted/translated, that he or she becomes unable to interpret/translate accurately and completely, he or she shall inform the parties of his/her intent to withdraw without threat or retaliation.
- Accuracy: Interpreters and translators shall render the message faithfully, conveying the content, spirit and cultural context of the original message. This means the interpreter or translator shall interpret everything the speaker or document says without changing the meaning, conveying what is said and how it is said, without additions, omissions or alterations, but with due consideration of the cultural context of both the sender and the receiver of the message.
- Role boundaries: Interpreters and translators shall maintain the boundaries of their professional role, refraining from personal involvement. This does not mean that an interpreter cannot be friendly or develop a rapport with the person speaking, but does not represent personal involvement in their interpretation. An interpreter or translator must maintain impartiality and refrain from giving advice or projecting personal bias or opinion through their communication.
- Self-evaluation: Interpreters and translators shall accurately and completely represent their certifications, education, training and experience.
- Personal demeanor: Interpreters and translators shall be punctual, prepared and dressed in an appropriate manner and not distracting from the situation.
- Inability to perform: Interpreters and translators shall assess, at all times, their ability to interpret/translate. Should interpreters or translators have any reservations about their competency to perform in any given situation, they must immediately notify the parties and offer to withdraw without threat or retaliation.
- Professional development and training: Interpreters and translators shall make a reasonable effort to acquire ongoing development of their skills and knowledge through professional training, continuing education, and interaction with colleagues, and specialists in related fields.
- Cultural competency: Interpreters and translators shall develop awareness of their own and other cultures in order to promote cross-cultural understanding. Interpreters and translators will strive to bridge the cultural differences between all participating parties, by seeking to minimize, and avoid potential misunderstandings based upon stereotyping and/or differing cultural practices, beliefs, or expectations. When clashing cultural beliefs or practices, a lack of linguistic equivalency, or the inability of parties to explain in their own words are encountered, the interpreter or translator may assist by sharing cultural information or helping develop an explanation that can be understood by all.
- Cultural sensitivity & courtesy: Interpreters and translators shall be aware of the cultural differences that may exist and is sensitive and respectful to the individual(s) they serve.
- Impartiality: The interpreter and translators shall maintain impartiality and shall not counsel, advice or project their own personal biases or beliefs. The interpreter shall avoid distorting the message in favor of one party or the other.
- Non-discrimination: Interpreters and translators shall always be neutral, impartial and unbiased. Interpreters/translators shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, national origin, age, socio-economic or educational status or religious, political or sexual orientation.
- Conflict of interest: Interpreters and translators shall disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest which would affect their objectivity in the delivery of services. Providing interpretation or translation services for family members or friends may violate the individual’s right to confidentiality or constitute a conflict of interest.
- Withdrawal: Interpreters and translators who are unable to ethically perform in a given situation shall refuse or withdraw from the assignment without threat or retaliation.
We take the issue of client confidentiality very seriously. Whether permanent or freelance, our team is bound by an internal confidentiality agreement. We are also willing to enter into any external confidentiality agreements at a client’s wish. Confidentiality is to be maintained in all situations, including sharing information with family members without instruction to do so, except when legally mandated to disclose information in specific situations such as child abuse, elder abuse, a person threatening harm to him or herself or others, or where the interpreter/translator determines to the best of their ability, that non-disclosure may result in harm.
Interpreters and translators shall not publicly discuss report, or offer an opinion concerning matters in which they are or have been engaged, even when the information is not privileged by law to be confidential.
We dispose of confidential material securely and can produce a certificate of destruction. This confidential material includes all legal material, medical documents and confidential corporate material including tapes and videos.
LUNA Language Services considers quality and safety standards to be its highest priority when managing our interpreting team, especially in medical settings, and trust that our business systems fully support a goal we share with the medical providers with work with to increase patient safety. In response to evolving industry standards set forth by the Joint Commission, our staff established a compliance monitoring system for our team of foreign language interpreters in 2009 with the purpose of systematically collecting compliance documentation. In 2011, we designed a customized database to further this purpose and added ASL interpreters’ compliance and training documents. Most recently in 2012, we expanded our in-house team to include an HR specialist who processes compliance documentation and coordinates ongoing audits of our interpreters’ files. You can be confident that contractors entering your facility will have been through a rigorous background check and have all of their medical requirements for patient contact completed.
Key Facets of LUNA Language Services Compliance Program Include:
- Dedicated on-site HR specialists
- Regular auditing of files by third party HR consultant
- Offsite storage and secure back up of all compliance and HR files
- Comprehensive background check including: Seven-Year County Criminal with Alias, FACIS, Indiana Limited Criminal History, National Criminal & Sex Offender Registry, OFAC and SSN Verification
- E-Verify on all active interpreters, includes collection of current ID, I-9, and W-9 paperwork
Our interpreters are provided the following documents:
- LUNA Language Services Code of Ethics
- HIPAA Training
- Personal Cell Phone Electronic Device Usage Policy (specific to facility)
- Professional Image Policy (specific to facility)
In addition to distributing the above information, LUNA Language Services collects the following health and safety information from our interpreters:
- Physical Exam/Clearance to work from Physician
- Immunizations (Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Varicella, Hep B)
- Annual TB testing/evaluation
- Annual Flu-shot
Finally, please note that our interpreting team completes the following requirements as part of the standard intake process to work with our company:
- Application to work as a contract interpreter with our agency or application for employment as full time interpreting staff
- At least two letters of reference
LUNA Language Services is proud to provide qualified interpreters and is committed to maintaining patient safety. We are happy to work with our clients to create customized training to our interpreters and customized reporting to our client that fulfills in-house compliance requirements.