Improving patient–provider communication (Hurtig et al., 2019)

Purpose: Many hospitalized patients experience barriers
to effective patient–provider communication that can
negatively impact their care. These barriers include difficulty
physically accessing the nurse call system, communicating
about pain and other needs, or both. For many patients,
these barriers are a result of their admitting condition and
not of an underlying chronic disability. Speech-language
pathologists have begun to address patients’ short-term
communication needs with an array of augmentative and
alternative communication (AAC) strategies.
Method: This study used a between-groups experimental
design to evaluate the impact of providing patients
with AAC systems so that they could summon help and
communicate with their nurses. The study examined
patients’ and nurses’ perceptions of the patients’ ability to
summon help and effectively communicate with caregivers.
Results: Patients who could summon their nurses and
effectively communicate—with or without AAC—had
significantly more favorable perceptions than those who
could not.
Conclusions: This study suggests that AAC can be
successfully used in acute care settings to help patients
overcome access and communication barriers. Working
with other members of the health care team is essential
to building a “culture of communication” in acute care
settings.

Supplemental Material S1. Noddle communication device.

Hurtig, R. R., Alper, R., Bryant, K., Davidson, K., & Bilskemper, C. (2019). Improving patient safety and
patient–provider communication. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_PERS-SIG12-2019-0021