Audiology in 2023: 3 ways to make it a year of opportunity

Audiologist, Dr. Nicole Klutz, shares why 2023 is a unique one for hearing care professionals and how you can use this year to open new doors.

2022 was a year full of change, new ground-breaking legislation in hearing care, new technologies for you and your patients, and a continued focus on delivering the best patient care.

I have to admit, at times I wondered if all the change going on in our industry and profession was going to be a good or a bad thing – would it be the end of audiology as we know it? Or an opportunity for more people to get the hearing healthcare they need?

Change is hard, let’s be honest – nobody likes to change. But 2022 forced every one of us to take an inventory of what we do, why we do it, and who it matters to the most – our patients. With that in mind, I took some time to really think about what 2023 has to offer, and it’s a lot!

Here are 3 considerations for 2023

  1. Serve more patients by integrating OTC options into your practice.

    In October 2022 the US Food and Drug Administration’s new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids went into effect to reduce the barriers that many Americans face, stopping them from getting a solution to their hearing loss. With it came many questions from the hearing care professionals (HCPs) and concerns not only for the profession but ultimately around the patient experience.

    As we have all prepared for this moment to come, many HCPs have embraced OTC and what it means for their practice in 2023. We can all agree, access to hearing care and affordable hearing solutions are not a bad thing. We, as HCPs and trusted advisors to our patients, need to understand how to best integrate OTC options into our healthcare practice, or not if we choose to do so.

    The opportunity to serve more patients and help them along their hearing healthcare journey, from wherever they choose to start, is what we are all here for. Whether OTC ultimately works into your professional service offering, remember who OTC is for and who we are here for: our patients.  

  2. Increase your offering to make it easier for patients to get back to socializing.

    Three years have passed since we all first heard the infamous term “COVID 19”. Social engagement and get togethers are now possible, which means hearing and communicating in often noisy environments. This can be challenging, especially for those with hearing loss.

    What a better time to support your patients as they get back into their social circles, community groups and get togethers. A new year’s resolution for each of us should be to ensure that our patients leave our office with a complete hearing solution that helps them not only in the quiet moments of life, in everyday communication.  Here are 2 solutions that might help:

    – Remote microphone technology, like Roger™, offers benefits of hearing better in noise and over distance, patients can continue to get back out with their friends and loved ones, without having to struggle and wish they could hear better.

    – Auditory skills training tools, like those found in HearingSuccess portal, can give your patients structured, repetitive listening practice to improve their everyday communication and speech understanding.

    By offering a more holistic solution, your patients who have just started getting together with family and friends, getting back out into their communities and social groups, won’t struggle and question if they should have gone out in the first place.

  3. Overcome barriers to hearing aid adoption by changing the conversation.

    2023 promises to be full of continued research and evidence on how hearing health supports not only cognitive health, but also physical and socio-emotional health as well. We know we must take care of ourselves and our hearing health to be the best we can be.

    So, let’s think about changing the conversation.

    Instead of thresholds and decibels, let’s talk with our patients about how taking steps towards hearing well is linked to noticeable improvements in physical, cognitive, and social-emotional well-being.

    If you change the conversation and stress the importance of hearing well for well-being, perhaps your patients will be proactive about their hearing health and not choose to ‘wait and see’ for hearing aids.

I know that starting a new year can be overwhelming. We set resolutions, we give ourselves lofty goals to accomplish, and we beat ourselves up when we stumble, or fall short. So why not take a moment, identify one thing you want to commit to implementing in your daily practice, and do it.

There’s nothing wrong with trying something new, embracing the change that is coming your way, and being successful!

Want to learn more about resources that can help your patients get back to socializing in 2023?

  • Read about the real-life benefits of Roger in a previous blog article by Dr. Chase Smith, Roger™ technology: 3 real-world problems it solves.
  • View all the auditory skills training tools available to your patients by registering on the HearingSuccess portal as a professional.