OrthoAtlanta, LLC will take the appropriate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities, including physical or mental impairments, have an equal opportunity to participate in our services, activities, programs, and other benefits. The procedures outlined below are intended to ensure effective communication with patients/clients involving their medical conditions, treatment, services and benefits. The procedures also apply to communication of information, among other types of communication, contained in important documents, including waivers of rights, consent to treatment forms, financial and insurance benefits forms, etc. All necessary auxiliary aids and services shall be provided without cost to the person being served.
All staff will be provided written notice of this policy and procedure, and staff that may have direct contact with individuals with disabilities will be trained in effective communication techniques, including the effective use of interpreters.
OrthoAtlanta provides a notice of the availability and the procedure for requesting auxiliary aids and services through notices in our website, office handouts and through notices posted in our waiting rooms. When an individual self-identifies as a person with a disability that affects the ability to communicate, access or manipulate written materials or requests an auxiliary aid or service, staff will consult with the individual to determine what aids or services are necessary to provide effective communication in particular situations. Whenever possible, preference should be given to the patient’s choice of auxiliary aid.
After consulting with the individual and making a determination as to the auxiliary aid or service that will best provide effective communication, staff will make a record of the determination in the individual’s electronic medical record.
OrthoAtlanta shall provide the following services or aids to achieve effective communication with persons with disabilities:
A.For Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
(i)Available auxiliary aids for persons who are deaf/hard of hearing include lip reading, written notes and the provision of a qualified interpreter.
a.Lip Reading: Before relying on lip-reading for communications, you should have the patient affirmatively confirm that they do read lips and that they wish to rely on that method for effective communication.
b.Written Notes: Reliance on written notes as an auxiliary aid should be limited to minor administrative communications (e.g. location of bathroom, amount due for office visit). Written notes should not be relied upon for communication more complex issues, such as physician-patient discussions regarding medical diagnosis or treatment.
(ii)For persons who are deaf/hard of hearing and who use sign language as their primary means of communication, each location’s Practice Administrator or designee is responsible for arranging for a qualified interpreter when needed.
In the event that an interpreter is needed, the location Practice Administrator or his or her designee is responsible for:
Maintaining a list of qualified interpreters on staff, if any, showing their names, phone numbers, qualifications and hours of availability;
Contacting the appropriate interpreter on staff to interpret, if one is available and qualified to interpret; or
Obtaining an outside interpreter if a qualified interpreter on staff is not available. Each location’s Practice Administrator shall be responsible for maintaining a list of outside interpreters who have agreed to provide services at their location.
(iii)Communicating by Telephone with Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
OrthoAtlanta utilizes relay services for external telephone with TTY users. We accept and make calls through a relay service. The state relay service can be reached by dialing “711” or 800-255-0135 (voice).
(iv)For the following auxiliary aids or service, staff will contact their location’s Practice Administrator or designee who is responsible for providing the aids and services in a timely manner: written copies of oral announcements or other effective methods that help make aurally delivered materials available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
(v)Some persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may prefer or request to use a family member or friend as an interpreter. However, family members or friends of the person will not be used as interpreters unless specifically requested by that individual and after an offer of an interpreter at no charge to the person has been made by the facility. Such an offer and the response will be documented in the person’s file. If the person chooses to use a family member or friend as an interpreter, issues of competency of interpretation, confidentiality, privacy and conflict of interest will be considered. If the family member or friend is not competent or appropriate for any of these reasons, competent interpreter services will be provided.
B.For Persons Who are Blind or Who Have Low Vision
(i)Staff will communicate information contained in written materials concerning treatment, benefits, services, waivers of rights, and consent to treatment forms by reading out loud and explaining these forms to persons who are blind or who have low vision.
Large print versions of other handout materials may also be provided as necessary and appropriate. These materials may be accessed on the practice’s intranet site, SharePoint.
(ii)For the following auxiliary aids or services, staff will contact their location Practice Administrator or designee who is responsible to provide the aids and services in a timely manner: reformatting into large print or other effective methods that help make visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or who have low vision. In addition, staff are available to assist persons who are blind or who have low vision in filling out forms and in otherwise providing information in a written format.
C.For Persons With Speech Impairments
To ensure effective communication with persons with speech impairments, staff will contact their location Practice Administrator or designee who is responsible to provide aids and services in a timely manner: writing materials and other communication aids as deemed appropriate and necessary to ensure effective communication.
D.For Persons With Manual Impairments
Staff will assist those who have difficulty in manipulating print materials by holding the material and turning pages as needed. If staff determines that an alternate method is appropriate or necessary to ensure effective communication by individuals with manual impairments, staff should contact their location’s Practice Administrator or designee.
E.For Persons Who Require a Service Animal
Patients who require the use of a service animal are allowed to bring the animal into all OrthoAtlanta facilities. Under ADA regulations, a service animal is “defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” If an individual utilizes a psychiatric service animal, the animal must be trained to sense a psychiatric occurrence and perform a specific action to help avoid it. However, an animal that is used for emotional support, therapy, or comfort are not considered a service animal as these animals have not been trained to perform a specific task. Staff should contact the location’s Practice Administrator if they have questions concerning the distinction of different service animals.
AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
When necessary to ensure effective communication, it is the policy of OrthoAtlanta to provide necessary auxiliary aids or services for individuals with disabilities at no additional charge.
For example, for deaf or hard of hearing person, this may include lip reading, note-passing or the provision of a qualified sign-language interpreter.
Auxiliary aids and services are also available for persons who are blind or who have low vision, have speech impairments or who have manual impairments.
If you desire an Auxiliary Aid or Service, please advise the Receptionist at the time you check in for your appointment and we will work with you to determine the best means of ensuring effective communication during your patient visit.
If you have questions about our Auxiliary Aid Policy or believe you have been improperly denied use of an Auxiliary Aid, please contact the Practice Administrator at that location.
State Relay Number: “711” or 800-255-0135 (voice) or 800-255-0056 (TTY)
COMMUNICATION ASSISTANCE ASSESSMENT FORM FOR PATIENTS AND COMPANIONS
OrthoAtlanta is required to provide FREE interpreters or other communication assistance for persons who are deaf or hard-of hearing, blind or low vision, speech disabled, or if you do not speak English. Please tell us about your communication needs.
My name is ________________________________________________________________
I need an interpreter who speaks:
Language: ____________________ Dialect: ____________________
Large Print Materials: _____ Note takers: _____
TDD/TTY System, Video Relay or Video Interpreting Service: _____
Assistance Filling Out Forms: _____ Written Materials: _____
Note Writing _____ Lip Reading ______ Reader for the Blind ______
Other (Please tell us how we can help you): ______________________________
Customer or Companion Signature:
Customer or Companion’s Printed Name:
Interpreter’s Signature: Interpreter’s Printed or Typed Name:
Witness Printed Name:
NOTE: This assessment form is to be offered to individuals who require communication assistance. FOR OFFICE USE ONLY.