Communication access in healthcare is a right under the ADA.
With the current COVID-19 crisis, communication access is increasingly needed, and simultaneously strained. Patient isolation requirements, face masks, and limited visitor policies can leave those with communication needs without communication access.
As a patient, there are many things you can do to prepare in the case of a hospitalization related, or unrelated, to COVID-19. Now is a good time to make a PLAN:
Let people know
Notify your team
Prepare a written document that outlines what your communication access needs are in the case that you’re hospitalized.
Research and write down several communication access providers that you would prefer to use during your hospitalization. Write down the company’s name, phone number, and email address. Have a copy of this and provide it to your family, caregivers, and/or healthcare personnel.
Let People Know
Notify close family members who may be involved in your care of your communication access needs and your plan.
You should also notify your healthcare provider of your communication needs if they are not already aware. Your healthcare provider should be able to put a note in your medical record that relays your communication needs to anyone who opens your medical record.
You have the right to full communication access under the ADA, and you should always advocate for yourself whenever possible.
In the case of hospitalization, or in the case that you cannot advocate for yourself, choose a family member, friend, or caregiver that can advocate for you and your communication needs. Care Captions is always available to advocate for your needs as well!
Notify Your Team
If you are sick and planning to go to the emergency room or doctor, notify the emergency room or your healthcare provider, or have your advocate notify them as soon as possible.
The sooner your healthcare provider can prepare to accommodate your communication access needs, the better they can serve you.
Care Captions is here to advocate for your needs and make sure you get the best care possible.
In many cases individuals with auditory processing disorders do not have hearing impairments. Instead, individuals with auditory processing disorder have difficulty processing verbal information, or speech, due to neurological or neurodegenerative diseases, disorders, or other causes.
Navigating the healthcare setting with an auditory processing disorder can be challenging, and patients may need communication access, as well as access to written material that explains their diagnosis, treatment plan, and any referrals or lab tests ordered.
Below are three ways in which Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) can help those with auditory processing disorder in the healthcare setting.
1. Access to Written Communication
CART services provide real-time access to all spoken word, which can help individuals with an auditory processing disorder process speech in the healthcare setting.
CART services are provided by specialized Service Providers. These Service Providers work in real-time to transcribe, edit and remove redundancies in a real-time transcript. This results in a transcript that is easy to read and follow.
2. Access to an Edited Transcript
Care Captions provides a final, edited transcript to the healthcare provider’s office after the event which is to be retained in the patient’s medical file.
The patient may request a copy of the transcript from the healthcare facility to further facilitate communication and planning.
3. CART Gives Patients Autonomy
Healthcare can be confusing for those who are not familiar with medical terminology. While having family members present during healthcare appointments can be comforting, family members should not be relied upon to relay important information to the patient.
Every patient has the right to make informed healthcare decisions. CART gets the patient involved and takes pressure off of family members, who may not have medical knowledge, to relay important medical information.
Do you have questions about Care Captions’ services?
Who are late-deafened individuals, and how can we make healthcare more accessible for them?
Late-deafened individuals, in general, are those who experience hearing loss after childhood. Most late-deafened adults have oral communication skills that they obtained before their hearing loss.
Trauma, long-term exposure to loud noises, such as in the workplace, and illnesses can all cause hearing loss after childhood. Navigating the healthcare setting with late-deafness can be challenging, and communication can become strained without the proper communication tools.
Some individuals who have late-deafness do not know or use Sign Language. This can lead to communication issues in the healthcare and medical setting. The late-deafened individual may not know there are resources, like Care Captions, that can help them during healthcare visits. Below are several ways in which you can improve communication with late-deafened individuals in the healthcare setting.
1. Advocate For Your Patient
Whether the late-deafened individual is navigating the healthcare field for the first or hundredth time, they may not be aware of resources available to them.
If you have a patient who is hearing impaired and who does not know or use Sign Language you can advocate for them by assuring the resources included in this article are available, and that the patient is aware of them.
2. Choose A Quiet Area
The ability to hear clearly becomes more strained when other voices and noises are involved. If you need to speak with a late-deafened individual, choose a quiet area to do so.
A quiet area is a place away from other patients, other healthcare personnel, and in a place without electronic noises like printers and fax machines.
3. Face The Patient When Speaking
Good patient care starts with good communication. In addition to assuring you’re in a quiet area for communicating, you should also make sure to face the late-deafened individual while you speak.
Even if the individual cannot read lips, it is much easier to hear what a person is saying when standing face-to-face. It is also a good idea to be close to the individual, while maintaining personal space, and not across the room while communicating.
4. Provide CART Services
Care Captions services are a resource that allow for real-time communication in the healthcare setting. These services are preferred to writing notes or using a family member for communication for accuracy and patient autonomy.
CART services are invaluable for late-deafened adults who do not know or use Sign Language. Care Captions services can be used in any healthcare setting including hospital stays, therapy, telemedicine, and more.
5. Provide Written Material
Care Captions will provide an edited transcript to your facility after the patient’s event is complete. This can be sent to or requested by the patient to further facilitate communication.
In addition to a Care Captions transcript, you should provide written information whenever possible to your late-deafened patient. Information including the diagnosis, treatment plan, and copies of any referrals or tests are very helpful to patients.
Care Captions can provide CART services to your late-deafened patients.
Use these five tips to make the most of your healthcare visit.
1. Let Your Healthcare Provider Know Your Accommodation Needs
The sooner you can let your healthcare provider know of your accommodation needs, the better prepared they can be to handle your needs.
As a patient, you have the right to communication access under the ADA. Give Care Captions a call if we can advocate for your needs.
2. Check With Your Insurance Company
Nobody wants to get a bill after seeing a healthcare provider, especially an unexpected bill. With Telehealth on the rise, it is important to know how your visit will be covered.
Check with your insurance company to see how your visit will be covered so you can plan accordingly. All insurance companies and plans are different, and the healthcare provider’s office will not know the details of your specific plan.
3. Write Down Your Subjective And Objective Signs And Symptoms
Prepare for your appointment by writing out your symptoms. Note the date when your symptoms started, anything you’ve tried to help your symptoms, and whether it helped or not.
You should note objective signs if you have them, like your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and any physical changes in your body that you can see.
Also, note your subjective symptoms, such as pain level, how your symptoms feel, and if your symptoms have gotten better or worse over the duration of your healthcare issue.
4. Write Down Your Questions Ahead Of Time
Between the anxiety caused by a healthcare issue, White Coat Syndrome, and time limits, it can be easy to forget what questions you had for your healthcare provider.
Write down your questions ahead of your appointment so that you don’t have to think of questions on the spot.
5. Find An Advocate
Not sure how to request Care Captions services for your appointment? Or, has your healthcare provider told you that they cannot accommodate your request?
Let Care Captions know, and we are happy to advocate for your right to communication access under the ADA. You can also talk to the “Interpreter Services” department at your healthcare provider’s office, and they should be able to help.
Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) services, like Care Captions, provide real-time access to all spoken word in the healthcare setting.
CART services are versatile. remote and discreet. Below are five ways that CART services can help patients in healthcare settings.
1. The Right to Make Informed Healthcare Decisions
While writing notes back and forth or relying on a patient’s family member for communication with a patient might be convenient, it is not usually recommended when diagnosis and treatment is discussed.
Communication between family members can also be strained, or misunderstood, especially when emotions are involved.
Using CART services for interactions involving sensitive or life-changing health information involves the patient, gives them autonomy and gives them the right to make informed healthcare decisions on their own.
2. CART Can Be Used For Many Communication Needs
CART can be used for a variety of patient needs and not just for those who are d/Deaf or hearing impaired.
While Sign Language interpreters are useful for those who use Sign Language, there are many people who lose their hearing later in life, have an auditory processing disorder, or who don’t know or use Sign Language.
Care Captions can fill in where Sign Language interpreters are not available or able to be used. Of course, if your patient requests a Sign Language interpreter, you should provide them with one.
3. Remote Service Are Safer And More Efficient
While some CART services are provided in person, Care Captions is provided 100% remotely. Remote, real-time captioning allows for better coverage of assignments, and it is safer for patients and healthcare personnel.
Vulnerable populations, such as those with a compromised immune system and the elderly, benefit from having less people around them in the healthcare setting.
4. On-Call CART Services are Convenient
With some notice, on-call CART services can easily be arranged. Whether you need services for a one-day outpatient procedure, or a longer inpatient hospital stay, we can arrange to have a Transcriber standing by and ready for your call as soon as you need services.
With on-call services, the patient can have peace of mind that they will have services when they need them, and the healthcare provider can keep up with their schedule, not wait on a Service Provider to be available.
Providing CART Services is Good Patient Care
Good patient care starts with good communication. Being prepared to provide communication access that is easy to use and there when your patient needs it will not only improve your patient care scores, but will also strengthen your patient’s trust in you and your healthcare facility.
Do you have a plan in place for patients with communication needs who don’t use Sign Language? If not, Care Captions can help!
Contact Care Captions to learn more about how you can provide real-time captioning services to your patients with communication needs.
Care Captions is committed to the right to make informed healthcare decisions, especially during times like these. Now, more than ever, remote services like Care Captions are being called on to serve vulnerable populations. We perform services 100% remotely and are HIPAA & HITECH compliant. Safeguarding protected health information is among our most important roles.
Care Captions is prepared to accept service requests related to all healthcare needs, including care related to COVID-19 and patients in isolation. Your information, and your patient’s information, is always safe with Care Captions.
At this time, we are not sending out Care Captions, LLC’s equipment. As a healthcare provider, your facility can provide a tablet or similar device for your patient to use. Your patient can also use their own tablet or phone. Make sure you have dependable WiFi if your patient will be using their own device.
If you’re a patient, know that you have the right to clear and accurate communication in the healthcare setting, no matter your communication need. If you’re a healthcare provider, we thank you for your commitment to patients and their health during this crisis. We also thank you for your concern regarding communication access.
Care Captions is prepared to provide services to fit your unique needs. If you need help accessing services, or if you would like to schedule services, please contact us.