Toolkit for Providers Serving Children with Hearing Loss
Tip #4: Use Visual Tools to Help Communication with Families: the Family NHS Roadmap
What We Learned
• When infants “refer” after newborn hearing screening, families don’t know what to expect next in terms of re-screening or diagnostic testing.
• For infants found to have a permanent hearing loss, families don’t know what further tests are needed, which providers they need to consult with, or interventions available.
• The number of different professional disciplines involved in management of children with hearing loss is confusing for most families, and it’s hard for them to keep track of whether they have received all the consultations they need.
What We Did
• Developed a “roadmap for families” with a visual representation of the journey that families take from hearing screening through diagnosis and intervention. Here are some examples of roadmaps:
• Roadmaps can be customized either for individual states, regions or practices.
• Several versions of the roadmap have been developed (link here to Examples of Roadmaps from various states)
• Roadmap designs were adjusted based on feedback from trials in both clinical and non-clinical settings.
Questions for My Practice
• Are we using visual tools to aid communication with patients and families?
• Could we use a roadmap with families of children that need follow-up after newborn hearing screening?
• Does my state have its own roadmap?
• Do we have on-line resources we can refer families to that may answer some of the questions that occur to them after leaving our consultation?
Changes to Try in My Practice
• When infants “refer” after either screening or re-screening, print out the roadmap to discuss with families what the next steps will be for diagnostic testing.
• When infants are diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss, use the roadmap as a joint communication tool, so that you and the family can discuss next steps for investigations and management.
• Click on each underlined section of the roadmap for more information.
• Give each family a copy of the road map to take away with them, with a number to call if they have questions after leaving the consultation.
• Customize the second page of the roadmap with contact addresses and telephone numbers for local professionals and organizations that families will need.
• The Family Roadmap is designed as a partner document to the AAP’s Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, Diagnosis and Intervention: Guidelines for Pediatric Medical Home providers. Click here to download your own copy of the Guidelines.
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