Communication is critical in health care. Having access to communicate in the most effective means possible is crucial; otherwise, serious consequences can be the result.
Here are resources to assist people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and health care professionals to communicate in a medical or hospital setting. More resources will be added as they are found. Please contact us if you know of a resource that should be added.
- Make Your Service Accessible: Emergency Medical Service (EMS) – information for first responders in face-to-face emergency situations (e.g. accident, sudden onset illness) and disasters (e.g. flood, hurricane) as well as suggestions for people with speech and language disabilities.
- Make Your Service Accessible: Hospital In-Patient Services – information for health care professionals working in hospitals as well as suggestions for people with speech and language disabilities.
- Access to Healthcare: Glossary of Accommodations and Supports for Patients with Communication Disabilities – a guide when considering communication accommodations and supports for patients who have communication disabilities.
- Patient Communication: What If You Had a Speech Disability? – Glenda Watson Hyatt shares her experiences interacting with health care professionals and offers suggestions for improving communication with patients who have speech and language disabilities.
- Tips for Communicating in a Hospital Setting (PDF) – a document with communication tips that can be customized by people who have speech and language disabilities and shared with health care professionals.
- Patient Provider Communication – a site with many resources to assist with communication between patient and health care provider.
- A Guideline for Assisted (Video-)Calling for Patients Using Alternative Means and Methods of Communication in the Clinical Context (PDF) – how providers can support their patients with communication difficulties to participate in video calls with loved ones during a hospital stay.
- Voices from the Field: Promoting System Change for Communication Access in Acute Care Hospitals (PDF) – “documents existing barriers to patient-provider communication within hospitals and presents recommendations, resources, and case studies to highlight the benefits and positive outcomes of communication interventions to guide clinical practice in this setting. Specifically, recommendations are presented across a number of systems that impact healthcare delivery
including: (a) healthcare policies and regulations, (b) healthcare providers, (c) hospital units and departments, and (d) patients and families.”
- Communication and End of Life – resources designed to inform health care professionals, patients/clients and their loved ones about common communication and swallowing issues at the end of life.
Health-Related Communication Aides
- Bedside Messages – 26 key phrases supported by symbols for patients.
- Child Post-Operative Communication Chart (PDF) – free download from Widgit Health.
- In Case of Emergency (ICE) Communication Card – pack of 20 from Bridges Canada
- Communication Tools – several hospital-based communication tools available for free download.
- Healthcare Vocabulary Sets – free downloadable communication aids.