Language Assistance & Interpreter Services

Interpreter Services at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

Our mission at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is to meet the cultural, ethnic and psychosocial needs of all our patients.

Patients who are non-English speaking, have limited English proficiency (LEP) or are deaf or hard-of-hearing, have the right to competent, free medical interpreter services.

To schedule an interpreter, please call 781-744-5404.

When you are registering or calling for an appointment, please make sure Lahey Hospital & Medical Center staff are aware of your need for an interpreter and have a record of your primary language. They will then coordinate efforts to ensure that a competent medical interpreter, fluent in English and your primary language, will be present for your appointment(s).

Competent Interpreters

The Coordinator of Interpreter Services, in accordance with the philosophy of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and in compliance with state and federal law, utilizes the services of "competent" medical language interpreters.

A "competent" interpreter is a person who is fluent in English and in the language of the non-English speaker. They are also trained and proficient in the skill and ethics of interpreting and are knowledgeable of the specialized medical terms and concepts that need to be interpreted for the purposes of receiving care or treatment.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Patients

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center utilizes a variety of resources, including the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired, to provide services for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. Generally, requests for appointments require two to three weeks advance notification for service coordination. However, these may be expedited based on interpreter availability.

In addition, the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Department of Audiology has auxiliary aids available for use by patients who are hard-of-hearing, including:

  • Assistive listening systems
  • One-to-one assistive systems
  • TV Decoders
  • TTD/TTY for telephones
  • Telephone amplifiers
  • Visual signalers

The Department of Audiology may be contacted at 781-744-2528.

Speech Impaired Patients

The Department of Speech Pathology at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has augmentative communication devices available for patients who are unable to communicate verbally due to various conditions (for example, laryngectomy, tracheostomy or stroke).

As these devices are the property of Speech Pathology, they cannot leave the hospital. If the patient continues to require a communication device upon discharge, arrangements will be made with the patient and family to purchase a device from the distributor.

The Department of Speech Pathology may be contacted at 781-744-8452.

Emergency Services

In accordance with Massachusetts state law, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center provides competent interpreter services to any patients seeking emergency or mental health services.

In cases where there was no reasonable way to anticipate the need for an interpreter for a particular language, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has access to Language Line Services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.