Why Use a Regulated Health Professional
Using a regulated health professional means that you receive quality professional and ethical intervention that encompasses:
- Standards of care
- Quality health care
- Informed consumers
- Protection from risk of harm
STANDARDS OF CARE
The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, created governing bodies, called colleges, to regulate the activities of health care professionals in the province of Ontario. Each college is directed by a council of professional members, academic members and members of the public. The council establishes Standards of Care in the public interest:
- entry to practice standards
- practice standards
- a code of ethics
- a quality assurance program
- a sexual abuse prevention program
- professional misconduct regulations, and
- continuing competence measurements
QUALITY HEALTH CARE
The College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) has developed a Quality Assurance Program based on the premise that quality care is provided and the public interest is protected when:
- practitioners are competent and ethical
- practice is based upon current relevant knowledge
- practice settings support the provision of quality care (TOP)
As regulated professionals, audiologists and speech-language pathologists are required by law to deliver competent, ethical services and are accountable to CASLPO when a complaint is made about a member's conduct.
CASLPO has no jurisdiction over unregulated health care service providers, support personnel such as Communicative Disorders Assistants, speech aides, and audiometric technicians.
Supportive personnel should be used as an adjunct, rather than an alternative, to registered professionals, to ensure that the public is receiving quality care. When supervised by a registered audiologist or speech-language pathologist, supportive personnel are delegated specific tasks, but the legal and ethical responsibility to the client/patient, for all services provided or omitted, remains the full responsibility of the registered professional.
It is important that consumers are informed about the utilization of supportive personnel. Registered practitioners are cautious to avoid misrepresentation of the person supplying the service by implying that the communication assistant/aide is a speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Only registered members of CASLPO are legally permitted to use these or similar titles such as speech therapist or speech clinician.
PROTECTION FROM RISK OF HARM
Registered practitioners reduce the risk of harm to communicatively-disordered consumers by ensuring that unregulated personnel are operating with proper supervision safeguards.
Where more than one assistant is employed, the registered professional ensures that each is adequately supervised. Guidelines are being developed within CASLPO's QA Program to provide the framework for the delivery of safe and effective services to the public. CASLPO supports the use of supportive personnel under direct supervision of registered professionals.
Under no circumstances are supportive personnel allowed to perform the following activities:
- administration of diagnostic tests
- interpretation of test results
- counseling of clients or their families
- transmission of assessment information to clients or their families program modifications
- decision making re: the initiation, duration, or termination of treatment
- client referrals
- formal reporting of client information
selection of a hearing aid