American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Applying Joint Commission Standards Beyond Hospitals

Examples of Standards 

The hospital effectively communicates with patients when providing care, treatment, and services (PC.02.01.21).

  • Identifies patient's oral and written communication needs, including preferred language (examples include need for hearing aids, interpreters, or communication boards).
  • Communicates with patient in a way that meets these needs.

The hospital respects the patient's right to receive information in a manner he or she understands (RI.01.01.03).

  • Provides language interpreting and translation services.
  • Provides information to patients with vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments in a way that meets the patient's needs.

Examples of Recommended Practices

These practices were taken from Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals.

Identify whether the patient has a sensory or communication need (pp. 10–11).

  • Contact an audiologist or involve the Ophthalmology Department, if possible, to provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services needed to help a patient who has a sensory impairment due to a current medical condition during admission.
  • Contact the Speech Language Pathology Department, if possible, to provide the appropriate AAC resources needed to help a patient who has a communication impairment due to a current medical condition.

Provide information to patients with vision, speech, hearing, or cognitive impairments in a way that meets the patient's needs.

  • If the hospital has a speech pathology or audiology department, interview staff in that department to see how they are used as a resource for meeting patient communication needs and training staff on available communication supports (p. 63).

How do these standards and practices apply to audiologists and SLPs who do not work in hospitals?  

  • At any time, one of your clients, students, or patients may have to be hospitalized.
  • You know the person's communication needs and knowing these standards will help you know what may happen in the hospital.
  • You can talk to the person or person's family about what to expect in the hospital and what to ask for.
  • If the person uses a device, such as a hearing aid or AAC device, encourage them to bring that with them to the hospital.
  • You can avail yourself to communicate with the hospital-based audiologist or SLP about the person's needs, if given appropriate permission to consult with him or her.

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