We took for granted many aspects of our day that were previously routine, such as providing regular patient check-ups, follow-ups, and providing acute hearing care. However, when hearing diagnostics and hearing loss intervention became more challenging, many audiologists adapted - building windmills rather than walls. The evolution and adoption of teleaudiology before and during the pandemic is one of the most significant examples of innovation that the audiology industry has experienced in decades. The future of teleaudiology is happening here and now, and this exciting shift is rapidly transforming how hearing care is ultimately being delivered.
Many believe to have a clinically valid audiometric test; it must occur in a sound booth. They believe it is necessary to eliminate any background noise and possible distractions that could lead to inaccurate test results. However, recent advances in audiometric technology are enabling a shift to test outside of the booth. This shift is being widely embraced by both hearing healthcare professionals and patients alike.
Audio permeates every moment of our lives, and the ability to hear can have a deep impact on our quality of life. It’s as simple as hearing the kettle go off, as pleasurable as catching music on the radio, and as crucial as hearing our doctors’ recommendations. That is why after a two month pilot, Bruyère has procured SHOEBOX Ltd’s QuickTest auditory screening tool for permanent implementation at the Élisabeth Bruyère and Saint-Vincent hospitals in Ottawa.
We've heard from several creative clinic owners who are using this time to "think outside of the booth". They are pondering ways to continue to offer their services even when the clinic doors are shut. We want to share what we hear, in the event that it is useful to you as well.
These are stressful and uncertain times. As we monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, everyone should be concerned with minimizing the spread of infection. Doing everything possible to best protect patients, coworkers, themselves and their families. We are all in this together, and the following information can help provide guidance on best practices as they pertain to infection control.