A Demographic Study of AAC/AT Needs in Hospitalized Patients In 2012, the Joint Commission issued a mandate that accredited hospitals must take into consideration the needs of patients with complex communication needs. Stemming from this mandate came recommendations for hospitals to collect baseline data of the number of individuals in their care with complex communication needs. This is a ... Article
Article  |   June 2013
A Demographic Study of AAC/AT Needs in Hospitalized Patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lauren Zubow
    Department of Communications Sciences & Disorders, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Richard Hurtig
    Department of Communications Sciences & Disorders, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Disclosure: Lauren Zubow has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Lauren Zubow has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
  • Disclosure: Richard Hurtig has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Richard Hurtig has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
  • Copyright © 2013 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Healthcare Settings / Articles
Article   |   June 2013
A Demographic Study of AAC/AT Needs in Hospitalized Patients
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2013, Vol. 22, 79-90. doi:10.1044/aac22.2.79
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2013, Vol. 22, 79-90. doi:10.1044/aac22.2.79
Abstract

In 2012, the Joint Commission issued a mandate that accredited hospitals must take into consideration the needs of patients with complex communication needs. Stemming from this mandate came recommendations for hospitals to collect baseline data of the number of individuals in their care with complex communication needs. This is a demographic study in response to their recommendation. Researchers at the University of Iowa sampled the electronic medical records of patients across 7 days to determine the number of patients who met candidacy requirements for augmentative alternative communication or assistive technology. Our census data indicate there is a significant need for patients in acute care settings to have access to alternative communication and the nurse call systems. The need appears to be greater in the intensive care units, but is not limited to this patient population. Overall, patients had greater AT needs than AAC needs in all locations. We recommend future research to investigate service delivery models to improve communication barriers that may exist between hospital staff and patients.

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