DOJ, Inova Settle ADA Lawsuit

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , March 30, 2011

The appropriate auxiliary aid to be provided depends on a variety of factors, including the nature, length and importance of the communication; the communication skills and knowledge of the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing; and the individual's stated need for a particular type of auxiliary aid.

Inova issued the following statement about the settlement:

Inova Fairfax Hospital is pleased to have resolved a dispute with the Department of Justice and a deaf couple involving accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing patients and their companions. A consent decree negotiated three ways -- between the hospital, the Justice Department, and the deaf couple -- is intended to ensure that the hospital meets the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community we serve through an improved system to deploy sign language interpreters and assistive technology.

Inova Fairfax Hospital has always been committed to satisfying its duties under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to making efforts to secure needed interpretive services and other auxiliary aids for patients and their immediate companions in order to ensure clear and effective communication on important healthcare matters. The consent decree represents a favorable outcome for all concerned, taking Inova's commitment a step forward by putting Inova in a position of leadership in serving persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Inova looks forward to demonstrating that when a proper patient assessment coupled with appropriate care is undertaken, both the healthcare provider and recipient may anticipate a favorable experience.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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