June 30, 2022. Prince County Hospital in Summerside is the latest venue to improve hearing accessibility on Prince Edward Island. We were delighted to learn that two Window Intercom Systems (also called a Speech Transfer System) with amplification and hearing loop accessibility were installed to mitigate against the effects of trying to hear behind plexiglass barriers.
One was installed at Ambulatory Registration, and the other at Admitting in the Emergency Department. I visited both areas with Christine Handrahan, R.N., Manager, Ambulatory Care and Allied Health, and Janet Read, Manager, Health Records / Supervisor of Admitting and Switchboard.
…. A window intercom system provides a private environment…..
The window intercom system is marvellous. You can hear the person behind the plexiglass… on either side. No one needs to shout in order to be heard, and the system offers the privacy that is needed.
As the microphone has a limited range, people behind you don’t hear what is being said, meaning that your discussions are private.
I asked if any feedback had been received. Christine Handrahan replied that “...Team members words were it is so much clearer with no background noise ….. and we also received feedback of the great value this is in providing clear audio for the patient experience...”
…. How to recognize a window with a Window Intercom system…..
It’s very easy to see at a glance which window has a Window Intercom System (Speech Transfer System) as it is marked with a sticker showing a broken ear and a ‘T’ in the lower right corner. ‘T’ refers to ‘telecoil’.
If you have a hearing aid or cochlear implant, you likely have a telecoil function. If not, speak to your audiologist. Alternatively, you can purchase a hearing loop receiver. For more information see https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/the-lets-loop-pei-project-how-you-can-access-an-area-with-a-hearing-loop/
…. How does a Window Intercom System work?…..
The Window Intercom System transfers speech in both directions by means of a microphone on one side of the glass which is connected to a speaker on the other side. The amplification helps ANYONE to hear more clearly.
When you access the telecoil function, then you not only hear exquisite clarity of sound, you also eliminate background noise as all you hear is what is coming through the microphone. In a busy hospital this is a great advantage.
Hear PEI and all of us with hearing loss commend Prince County Hospital for providing a hearing accessibility tool that helps everyone to communicate more effectively. If you use the Window Intercom System (Speech Transfer System) at the hospital, please let me know about the experience. Your feedback will be passed along to the hospital.
…Other Places with a Window Intercom System on Prince Edward Island…
South Shore Pharmacy, Access PEI, and the Visitor’s Desk at Queen Elizabeth Hospital have installed Window Intercom systems. To read about those installations, see:
Do you have a hospital experience to share? Send an email to email@example.com, comment on this blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.
…Don’t be shy! Wear a hard of hearing pin….
If you have hearing loss, we encourage you to wear a hard of hearing pin during appointments so that hospital staff members are aware of your hearing loss. Looking for a hard of hearing button? Order at: https://form.jotform.com/201983720272252 If you are on the Island, a selection of pins are available at Birchtree Gallery in Victoria-By-The Sea.
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© Daria Valkenburg