New Effective Communication Policy Reaches Beyond Tennessee

  • March 15, 2018

Signature HealthCARE & Disability Rights Tennessee Collaborate, Create Effective Communication Policy

Signature HealthCARE, LLC, in collaboration with Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT), is pleased to announce the implementation of a new effective communication policy for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, have sensory disabilities, or have Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Signature’s new “Communication and Auxiliary Aids” policy will ensure that individuals with sensory and communication disabilities have access to sign language interpreters, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), Braille materials, and other needed tools to aid in effective communication between patients and health care professionals. This new policy will have a positive impact across Signature’s large health care and rehabilitation network, including 120 locations in 11 states, 25 of which are located in Tennessee. 

Signature HealthCARE’s inclusive effective communication policy adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law passed in 1990 that guarantees that individuals with disabilities have equal access to public and private programs and services, including health care. This includes communication that is just as effective for individuals with disabilities as for individuals without disabilities. In order to achieve effective communication, individuals with disabilities may require the use of appropriate auxiliary aids or services. For example, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may need an American Sign Language interpreter to communicate with their medical providers. Signature HealthCARE offers appropriate auxiliary aids, including sign language interpreters, to individuals with disabilities and companions with disabilities free of charge.

“Effective communication is the key to accessible health care”

“Effective communication is the key to accessible health care,” says Stacie Price, Attorney at DRT. “Because many individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, for example, communicate through American Sign Language and not English, they often require a sign language interpreter to talk to health care professionals about their symptoms, medical history, medication, and treatment. When effective communication is achieved everyone benefits----individuals with disabilities can communicate necessary health care information, and the health care professionals can understand them and formulate appropriate treatment plans.”  

“Signature is wholeheartedly committed to serving our patients with quality health care and communicating effectively with all of our patients is at the heart of care. We believe every individual, including those of special populations, deserves access to health care. This policy strives to empower our staff to better serve our patients with disabilities, furthering our commitment to revolutionizing the long-term care industry,” says Betsy Wade, Corporate Compliance Officer for Signature HealthCARE.

Communication is central to quality health care and Signature HealthCARE’s new policy will make their services accessible to Tennesseans and beyond.

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Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal advocacy services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

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