Providing audiological care while keeping high-risk patients safe at home

Guidance on delivering eAudiology services and meeting the audiological needs of patients remotely.

Providing access to quality hearing care has long been a priority for Phonak. When we first started the journey into eAudiology and developing products which would enable hearing care professionals and clients to connect in alternate ways, online and remotely, we appreciated the obvious benefits of this service delivery model – time-savings, convenience and increased access to care. As our journey continued, we identified further benefits such as the fact that eAudiology allows for real-time hearing aid setting optimization in real-world environments and enables hearing care businesses to differentiate themselves from competitive threats like OTCs, hearables and internet sales.

COVID-19 revealed new benefits – keeping patients safe and socially connected

While uptake of these alternative models of service delivery has steadily increased since the launch of Phonak eSolutions to market, little did we know just how significant a role these would play, especially in times like these with the current global pandemic of COVID-19. eSolutions like Phonak Remote Support have the capacity to keep hearing care professionals connected with their clients, providing continued quality care, without the threat of infection. This is particularly important for keeping high-risk patients at home.

Social isolation, especially of the elderly with hearing loss, is a well-known concern in our profession. Many of our clients may be feeling even more alone at this time when the recommendation is to stay home altogether, precluding even scheduled visits to their healthcare providers, which they may have been looking forward to. As hearing care professionals, we are in a blessed position to play a pivotal role, not only in attending to their hearing needs, but also in helping sustain their social connectedness and overall emotional well-being.

How to get started

If you are a hearing care professional looking to get setup to practice eAudiology as soon as possible or reading about eAudiology for the first time, why not contact your local Phonak representative to talk you through the process. During this period when clinical load may be reduced, you may also want to schedule some time to browse the range of eAudiology best practice guidelines and Phonak eSolutions resources we have gathered.

Here are my top 3 recommendations to get you up to speed quickly:

  1. ABCs of eAudiology: No. 2 – 10 steps to Optimizing your eAudiology practice environment
    • A step by step guide to help you setup your room and equipment appropriately for best outcomes, as well as considerations for body language and video call etiquette
  2. Phonak Remote Support “How to’s”
    • How to prepare for Remote Support & Hearing Diary – A Phonak Target video guide showing the steps to take to invite clients to a use Remote Support and Hearing Diary
    • How to start a remote support session – Phonak Target video guide to starting a remote support session and connecting to your clients
  3. User Guide: myPhonak app
    • A user guide to installing and using the myPhonak app and its features

Thinking ahead

While eAudiology might sound like a good temporary solution to keep practicing and to maintain your commitment to your clients during this time of uncertainty and isolation, eventually the coronavirus crisis will pass, however the skills you develop will last. This escalation of service expansion to include remote care may have a lasting positive impact on your overall business, yourself as a clinician, and of course the clients you serve.