LOCAL NEWS

U.S. Attorney’s Office: UW Medicine to provide services to hearing impaired

Jul 17, 2023, 2:05 PM | Updated: 3:15 pm

UW medicine hearing...

New signage is installed Dec. 30 at UW Medical Center – Northwest in Seattle. (Randy Carnell/UW Medicine)

(Randy Carnell/UW Medicine)

After a settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, UW Medicine will be changing its policy for how it provides services and accommodations for patients with a hearing impairment.

The UW Medical Center will now be providing sign-language interpreters and other assistive devices for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing after getting a complaint from a patient that services were not provided to them in 2021.

More on UW Medicine: UW Medicine reports history-making heart-liver transplant for Bellingham woman

“Ensuring effective communication in medical settings has been a top priority in our civil rights work,” said acting U.S. Attorney Gorman in a prepared statement. “Before and after surgery, a patient must be able to understand the medical staff and communicate their level of pain, their concerns, and any questions they have about ongoing care. This settlement clearly lays out the steps for UWMC-NW to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide best practices for their patients.”

The hospital will be required to have an ADA coordinator on duty when the hospital is open to the public, alongside three interpreters. All staff will also be trained on how to best provide services to patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

UW Medicine will also be paying the patient $40,000 in the settlement alongside the procedural changes.

The ADA mandates that public entities, including healthcare providers, provide auxiliary aids and services free of charge to patients who need them in order to communicate effectively.

An investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, determined that UW Medical failed to provide the complainant with a qualified sign language interpreter necessary to communicate effectively with her on several occasions during her hospital stay in April 2021, including pre-surgical consultation, surgery, and post-surgical care.

More on UW Medicine: COVID-19 booster from last fall sufficient to fight variants

The hospital did attempt to use a Video Relay Interpreter (VRI) service, but it was ineffective.

Local News

carnation community...

Brittany Toolis, KIRO 7 News

‘The community is very traumatized’: Carnation residents air grievances over Tolt Dam false alarms

False alarms at Tolt Dam have sounded six times over the last three years with no emergency.

3 hours ago

DUI Bellevue...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Man dead after suspected DUI rollover crash in Bellevue

At about 4:10 a.m. Saturday, Bellevue officers and medics with the Bellevue Fire Department responded to the report of a single-vehicle crash.

11 hours ago

Seattle Amazon walkout...

Bill Kaczaraba

Report: Amazon tells its employees it is monitoring badge swipes

Amazon says it is getting serious about its "get back to the office" policy, now monitoring individual badge swipes into office buildings.

13 hours ago

Image: A cup of coffee...

Steve Coogan

Analysis: Seattle is not the No. 1 coffee city in the US

Seattle did not finish No. 1 in Wallet Hub's recently released list of the "Best Coffee Cities in America." Another West Coast city did.

13 hours ago

FILE - The Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. returns on C...

The MyNorthwest staff with wire reports

Wash. Senators Murray, Cantwell pay tribute to Feinstein after her death

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a centrist Democrat who was elected to the Senate in 1992 has died. She was 90.

1 day ago

helicopter grant county...

Frank Sumrall

Army helicopter strikes power lines, causes fire in Grant County

A helicopter crashed into power lines, causing a wildfire in Grant County, according to the CBS television station in Spokane.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

U.S. Attorney’s Office: UW Medicine to provide services to hearing impaired