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Ideas That Work: Clear Connection
Stock Carts to Solve Communication Difficulties
OSD Staff
Publish Date: February 3, 2021   |  Tags:   Ideas That Work
MOBILE DEVICES Patient Advocate Rachel Fobbs displays language cards and other aids that help staff relate to patients.   |   Dale Gauding/Sentara Healthcare

It can be challenging to connect with patients or family members who have hearing or vision impairment, or have limited English proficiency, especially if staff don't have the auxiliary aides necessary to communicate effectively. That's why we created "Communication in a Box" kits, which contain everything from amplifier attachments for mobile phones to magnifying glasses and masks with windows for individuals who read lips (see "A Clear Communication Upgrade" on page 12). The carts also include language cards that display commonly used phrases in a variety of languages — including Spanish, Arabic and Hindi — access to an 800 number interpretation service and an iPad mounted on a flexible neck that we use for remote access to interpreters. The carts with the mounted iPads attached cost around $2,000, the aides run about $500 and both the 800 number and the video interpretation service are pay-per-use.

Katy Trapp, BSN, RN-BC
Sentara Center for Healthcare Ethics
Virginia Beach, Va.
[email protected]

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