The Importance of Communication in a Healthcare Setting – Hearing Loops in Healthcare
For any of us, the frustration of being unable to get our point across, to feel isolated or the cause of problems are all things we seek to avoid in our daily lives.
Yet those of us who live with hearing loss often find themselves feeling at least some or all of the above things and in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital, medical centre or surgery, all places where communication is vital, those frustrations can be far worse…
The importance of communication in a healthcare setting is paramount to diagnosis, treatment, and the giving of comfort or assurance. Not to mention other things that non hearing impaired people might take for granted, such as simply being called for an appointment or to hear vital advice around medication and after care.
Individuals with hearing loss make up Britain’s largest disabled group, with one in six people living with some form of hearing impairment. That equals around 11 million people and in an increasingly ageing population, that figure is steadily rising yet both the provision for hearing induction loops in hospitals or healthcare services and the experiences of those who rely on them while visiting such places is still far from standard.
Compliance throughout the UK’s healthcare sector is generally very good, but that is only half the story and doesn’t always mean that communication for individuals with a hearing impairment is a positive experience.
Hearing loops need regular, professional maintenance and testing. The British Standards Institute has also revised its guidelines for future-proofing premises and services, with a shift away from accessible environments for the hearing impaired and much more towards the inclusivity of a shared space, equipped for their needs.
The onus for hearing loops in healthcare now firmly lies with the trust or service provider, not just to provide these inclusive spaces and adaptations but also to ensure they are working as effectively as possible.
What these things mean for hospitals and healthcare providers is relatively simple. Getting specialist advice is very important, on-site surveys, installation and ongoing maintenance should form an important part of policy. Annual site surveys, ongoing functionality checks and regular maintenance can be done in a way that doesn’t interrupt your service and ensures your induction loop systems do exactly what you and your service users need them to, in your own bespoke environment.
Clear Audio Systems has over 25 years of experience in developing, installing and maintaining induction loop systems and speech enhancement equipment across a wide variety of premises and services, many of which include the medical and healthcare industries. Working with our clients to provide that inclusive, safe and confidential service to each and every person who uses it is just as important to us as it is to the hospitals and service providers we partner.
For more information on induction hearing loops in healthcare settings, amplifiers and how your hospital or healthcare premises can be compliant and inclusive, get in touch today.