Solutions Identified To Improve Communication With Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Patients At OSMH


A plan to enhance communication with patients who are Deaf or hard of hearing at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is getting a thumbs up from Melissa McKee, a patient who filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) for the way patients in the emergency department are notified when it’s their turn to be seen.

The matter was resolved August 30 at a mediated session of the HRTO where the hospital presented a plan to implement a multi-stage solution that would begin by giving patients the option to receive notification by text message directly to their phone.

Plans are also in the works to adopt two additional forms of patient notification systems, including provision of a flashing/vibrating pager to patients, as well as incorporating confidential messaging as part of changes to the way the hospital registers and schedules patients.

“I was genuinely impressed by the solutions the hospital identified and their commitment to make things better,” said McKee, whose complaint was prompted by a visit to the emergency department earlier this year where the hospital’s existing process for notifying deaf patients wasn’t followed.

“We strongly value patient feedback and this outcome is an excellent example of how a patient’s voice can make a positive difference in the way care is provided,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.  “I want to thank Ms. McKee for raising the issue and helping find solutions.”

The solutions being implemented by the hospital are also designed to enhance communication with patients who are blind or sight impaired.

OSMH welcomes feedback, questions and comments from patients and their families. If you have a compliment, concern or question regarding a patient experience, please contact our Patient Relations delegate by phone at 705-325-2201 ext. 3365 or by email at


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