Interpretive Services

Hartford HealthCare recognizes the patient, family and designated caregivers’ right and need for effective communication.


We are committed to providing effective communication for patients, families and loved ones with limitations in English proficiency as well as those that are deaf or hard of hearing.

Providing the best care includes ensuring that we have a common understanding in communication about health care needs between our staff, our patients and families, in order to achieve the right healthcare and optimize patient experience.

Hartford HealthCare provides interpreter services as needed or requested for all patients, designated caregivers, families and loved ones. Our services are offered at no cost 24 hours/day throughout the year.

Here are some examples of when an interpreter would be used:

  • When providing clinic and emergency medical services.

  • When obtaining medical histories.

  • When providing information concerning patient's rights, advance directives and informed consent.

  • When discussing diagnosis and plans for medical treatment.

  • When discussing changes in regimen or condition.

  • When discussing discharge instructions, referrals and out-patient treatment plans.

  • When discussing the provision of mental health evaluations, group and individual therapy, counseling and crisis intervention.

  • When explaining certain medical procedures, tests and surgical interventions.

  • When obtaining financial and insurance information.

Hartford HealthCare provides many interpreting services to fit the variety of circumstances that a patient may encounter. Some of those services include:

Video Remote interpreter (VRI) - provides real time video relay services via the use of state-of-the-art technology to facilitate communication between patients, families and caregivers and the hospital staff and medical providers. Over a dozen languages and American Sign Language interpreters are available through video conferencing to satisfy the needs of our patients.

Over the phone interpreter (OPI) - provides a real time interpreter over the phone to facilitate a conversations between patients, families and their caregivers with hospital staff and medical providers.

Qualified bilingual staff - In some cases, Hartford HealthCare staff are proficient in languages other than English. If that’s the case, our staff has the ability to take a language proficiency exam which, if they pass, gives the staff the ability to translate conversations with patients, families and or caregivers and the staff.

In Person Certified Interpreters - In those cases where it is necessary for a certified interpreter to be present during discussion and to facilitate effective communication Hartford HealthCare has partnered with an outside interpretative service who will provide the appropriate in-person interpreter to come bedside and provide interpretative services. Common examples include American Sign Language and some less common foreign languages.

Interpreter symbolServices for the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing

Communication with deaf and/or hard of hearing patients, family members, close friends of patients and patient companions requires a personalized a custom communication plan. Staff should ask the patient, family, close friend or companion if they have a preferred method of communicating. When staff identify that a patient, family member, friend or companion is deaf and or hard of hearing, an assessment is made of the preferred method to communicate. Deaf and/or hard of hearing patients can call ahead of a planned visit and request services to facilitate effective communication.

Common forms of communication with deaf and or hard of hearing customers include (but not limited to):

  • In person interpreting via American Sign Language (ASL)

  • Video remote interpreting using ASL

  • Lip reading

  • Writing via pen and paper

  • Use of alternative technology

Sometimes, it may be ok to not get an interpreter or you may not feel the need for an interpreter. Those situations include (but are not limited to):

  • When the treating clinician determines an emergent medical situation exists and waiting for the interpreter will delay the delivery of medical care.

As a patient, family member or caregiver, you have the right to refuse an interpreter for medical conversations. If you choose to refuse an interpreter, Hartford HealthCare may still provide an interpreter to ensure that information is shared in the most accurate and informative manner.

If you need an interpreter or translator, call 860.972.5580 or email

If you are having difficulty or concerns with Language Services, call 860.696.6280 or email

Discrimination is Against the Law

Hartford HealthCare complies with applicable State and Federal civil rights laws and does not tolerate discrimination against any person, including patients and health care team members, on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, culture, language, disability, age, sex, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by law.

View our Statement of Non-Discrimination

Interpretive Services