Launched May 1st, 2011, Chime Social Enterprise offers NHS audiology services and began as a not for profit spin-off from the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS). Their services include hearing tests for adults and children of all ages as well as a commercial focus that aims to provide people with hearing impairments the best possible solution at an affordable price – with any profit wholly and directly supporting the NHS service. With over 275 years of experience across the team, Chime’s clinical staff and administrative teams can offer patients a unique and efficient experience.
With the recent challenge of the global pandemic causing many COVID-19 restrictions, it has become difficult and potentially dangerous for patients to get to a hospital or facility for hearing tests. Chime needed the ability to test patients in a safe environment as well as offer assessments to those who were unable to travel or did not want a face to face service. SHOEBOX Online provided an excellent solution to help reduce footfall in hospitals and offer a safe and convenient service to vulnerable patients. Anna Trotter, Principal Clinical Scientist, Chime Social Enterprise, states, “SHOEBOX Online has been incredibly helpful for us to be able to work safely in the hospital, and reduce the need for in-person testing.” Trotter continues, “Patients that need a reassessment have been able to complete the screening test at home and only come in to see us if the result appeared to show any unexpected changes, and they felt safe for a face to face visit.”
Both clinical staff and those who work as part of the Chime administrative team are currently using SHOEBOX Online as a convenient and easy to implement service for all existing and future patients. After speaking with a patient, Chime provides a unique link to those who have requested a hearing test, allowing the patient to take the screening test at home. Once complete, the results are immediately downloaded into the patient management system for review. Based on results, Chime can offer follow-up care, including remote fitting for hearing aids.
The need for remote services during a pandemic has been a necessity; however, Chime has found this service so beneficial to their patients; they plan to continue to offer SHOEBOX Online screening testing regardless of restrictions as a regular service. SHOEBOX Online has allowed the organization to meet its NHS contract requirements and keep staff and patients safe. It also provides an innovative solution for the future so that patients can access the service in whatever way suits them best.
Chime has always prided itself on excellent service; using SHOEBOX, they have realized several benefits. They can offer more help to more patients in less time. Reassessments are completed more efficiently; patients can take a test from home and get immediate results without waiting for an appointment or face to face meeting. Trotter says, “We have been able to see patients in the numbers required to meet 100% of our contractual obligation during a pandemic.” Together Chime and SHOEBOX have helped deliver an invaluable service to many patients during a pandemic and will continue into the future.