How can I improve the telehealth experience for those with hearing difficulties or who are deaf?
You and your team may treat persons who have hearing difficulties, whether they are hard of hearing or death. Consider the following in your workflow, such as involving staff to troubleshoot audio quality, involving a sign language interpreter, and sharing your screen:
- Check to make sure if the patient is understanding you. Have them repeat back what you said from time to time.
- If you have a telepresenter (a staff member on the patient side), they can tell you if its poor audio quality or if its good quality but the patient just can’t hear you because of their impairment. You can have the telepresenter repeat your words to the patient during your appointment.
- If the patient knows American Sign Language, you can easily include an ASL interpreter into the videoconferencing session as part of a group chat.
- Type out what you want the patient to know and screen share it with them. Make sure to use a big text so they can easily see the words. You can put your words in a Word document or the like, then click screen share. Problem solved!
- If all else fails, arrange for the patient to be seen in person. Usually this is not necessary as there are so many ways to ensure good quality of audio. These days, audio via technology should not differ much from the audio in person.
Check out our full post on "Telepsychiatry for the Hearing Impaired – Top 10 Tips."