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Solutions identified to improve communication with Deaf and hard of hearing patients at OSMH

Friday, September 21, 2018

(September 21, 2018 - Orillia, ON) –  A plan to enhance communication with patients who are Deaf or hard of hearing at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is getting a thumbs up from Melissa McKee, a patient who filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) for the way patients in the emergency department are notified when it’s their turn to be seen.

The matter was resolved August 30th at a mediated session of the HRTO where the hospital presented a plan to implement a multi-stage solution that would begin by giving patients the option to receive notification by text message directly to their phone.  

Plans are also in the works to adopt two additional forms of patient notification systems, including provision of a flashing/vibrating pager to patients, as well as incorporating confidential messaging as part of changes to the way the hospital registers and schedules patients.   

“I was genuinely impressed by the solutions the hospital identified and their commitment to make things better,” said McKee, whose complaint was prompted by a visit to the emergency department earlier this year where the hospital’s existing process for notifying deaf patients wasn’t followed.      

“We strongly value patient feedback and this outcome is an excellent example of how a patient’s voice can make a positive difference in the way care is provided,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.  “I want to thank Ms. McKee for raising the issue and helping find solutions.”  

The solutions being implemented by the hospital are also designed to enhance communication with patients who are blind or sight impaired.     

OSMH welcomes feedback, questions and comments from patients and their families. If you have a compliment, concern or question regarding a patient experience, please contact our Patient Relations delegate by phone at 705-325-2201 ext. 3365 or by email at patientrelations@osmh.on.ca. 


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About Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is located in Orillia, Ontario and serves the residents of North Simcoe Muskoka and beyond. OSMH is focused on ensuring a healthier future for our communities by providing high quality care closer to home. Medical, surgical and critical care, seniors healthcare services, adult mental health, and paediatric and perinatal care are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. It also specializes in orthopaedic surgery and kidney care. For more information visit www.osmh.on.ca.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Terry Dyni,  Director, Community Relations
Tel: 705-327-9179
E-mail: tadyni@osmh.on.ca

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