ISO 21998:2020

Interpreting-Healthcare Interpreting-Requirements and Recommendations

ISO 21998 is a standard specifically designed for healthcare interpreting services. It specifies the requirements and recommendations for ensuring high-quality interpretation in healthcare settings. This standard covers various aspects, including the qualifications and competencies of interpreters, as well as guidelines for healthcare organizations and interpreting service providers. ISO 21998 aims to improve communication between healthcare professionals and patients with limited proficiency in the local language, ultimately enhancing the quality of care and patient safety in healthcare settings.

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About ISO 21998 Healthcare Interpreting

ISO 21998:2020 is an International Standard that specifies requirements and recommendations for interpreting services in healthcare settings. It addresses the unique challenges and considerations involved in providing interpretation services in healthcare environments where accurate and effective communication is crucial for patient safety, quality of care, and access to healthcare services.

Here are some key points about ISO 21998:2020:

1 Scope: The standard focuses specifically on healthcare interpreting, which involves facilitating communication between healthcare providers (such as doctors, nurses, and other medical staff) and patients or their representatives who have limited proficiency in the language of the healthcare provider.

2 Requirements: ISO 21998:2020 outlines the requirements that healthcare interpreters must meet in terms of qualifications, competencies, and professional conduct. This includes proficiency in multiple languages, specialized knowledge of medical terminology and concepts, cultural competence, ethical behavior, and adherence to confidentiality and privacy regulations.

3 Recommendations: In addition to requirements, the standard provides recommendations for best practices in healthcare interpreting. This may include guidelines for interpreter training and certification, standards for interpreter-client interaction, strategies for managing challenging interpreting situations, and protocols for ensuring accuracy and impartiality in interpretation.

4 Quality Assurance: ISO 21998:2020 emphasizes the importance of quality assurance measures to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of healthcare interpreting services. This may include processes for assessing interpreter competence, monitoring interpreter performance, obtaining feedback from stakeholders, and continuous improvement initiatives.


5 Accessibility: The standard addresses the need for healthcare interpreting services to be accessible to all patients, including those with disabilities or special communication needs. This may involve providing alternative modes of interpretation (such as sign language interpretation or remote interpretation via video or phone) and ensuring physical and technological accessibility in healthcare facilities.

6 Regulatory Compliance: ISO 21998:2020 may also guide regulatory compliance and legal requirements related to healthcare interpreting, including relevant laws, regulations, and standards governing healthcare provision and language access rights for patients.

Overall, ISO 21998:2020 aims to establish a standardized framework for delivering high-quality, effective, and culturally competent interpreting services in healthcare settings, ultimately contributing to improved communication, patient care, and healthcare outcomes.

Certification Milestones

  • Free strategic meeting

  • Your tailored proposal

  • Confirmation

  • Stage 1 Audit date

  • Stage 2 Audit date (Certification)

  • Obtain your Certificate

Showcase your success with the International ISO 21998:2020 Certificate.

When choosing an interpretation partner, the client wants to be reassured that they work with a secured Interpretation Service Provider to receive a quality interpretation. With the ISO 21998:2020 Certificate, you increase customer confidence and win more international clients.