Effective Communications in Healthcare

The Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care was created by the Hearing Loss Association of America for patients, families, caregivers and all members of a health care team — administrators and support staff.  The Guide is designed to help hospitals, facilities, and private medical offices follow federal, state and local laws, regulations, and health care standards, and allow patients to ask for and get the services they need.

Why is Effective Communication Vital to Good Patient Outcomes?

“Patients must be able to communicate with their doctors, nurses and other members of their health care team. Providers must communicate clearly with their patients so they can diagnose, care for, and treat them in the best and safest way possible.  However, communication between patients and providers is not always effective.  To help remedy the situation, it is strongly recommended that patients and providers use the Communication Access Plan (CAP) and include it in the patient’s medical record.”

Hearing Loops in use at Hunterdon Medical Center

Audio induction (hearing) loop technology is now available on the Hunterdon Healthcare campus in Flemington, NJ.  The portable loops, installed on desks and countertops in dozens of locations, offer hard-of-hearing patients “20/20 hearing” during conversations with Hunterdon’s staff members, in spite of all the background noise!

Clear hearing and accurate understanding is critical in medical settings because of the confidential information that is shared and the decisions that are made while there. For those who depend upon hearing aids or cochlear implants, these new hearing loops provide a seamless solution that delivers crystal clear sound to the telecoil (T-Coil) built into their devices. For those with hearing loss but no hearing aids, they may use a Loop Receiver, with headset, to hear more clearly. (They are available at Hunterdon upon request.)

The auditorium at Hunterdon Healthcare is also looped now. The loop there benefits anyone in the audience with a telecoil-equipped hearing device.  All loops at Hunterdon were installed by Daniel Berke, of Loop New Jersey. Dan is a licensed hearing-health professional who is a certified designer and installer of Audio Directions’ loop systems.

Audio Directions (by Emcom Systems) is an industry leader in assistive listening technology, providing innovative solutions in noisy and acoustically challenging public spaces.  If you are unsure about your hearing device’s telecoil, ask your hearing healthcare professional for assistance with activating or adding it to your device. For more on hearing loss, a challenge for 48 million Americans, visit the Hearing Loss Association of America website at www.hearingloss.org.


Photos above:  Hunterdon Healthcare campus in Flemington, NJ.

Personal hearing aids/devices work well within a quiet, 6-foot radius. Beyond that, they tend to amplify background noise and distort key sounds for understanding.  An audio induction “Hearing Loop” is the invisible solution that enhances the effectiveness of hearing devices within large, noisy public spaces. For 1:1 conversations where privacy is a concern, there are a variety of solutions:  desktop, seat cushion, under-the-counter, overhead disc and floor mat.