When it comes to providing comprehensive hearing care, ENT clinics play an essential role. ENT clinics usually deliver audiology services alongside diagnosing and treating a wide range of ear, nose, and throat conditions.
Staffing audiologists in brick-and-mortar clinic locations can present challenges due to several factors but of particular concern is the higher rate of audiologists retiring or leaving the field compared to those graduating from programs, coupled with a doubling of the U.S. hearing loss population since 19841.
SHOEBOX is helping to address these challenges by offering a complete remote teleaudiology solution for ENT clinics. Rather than requiring a full-time audiologist in each location, they can remotely connect patients in one ENT clinic to another with any available audiologist.
This blog post will explore how our digital teleaudiology solutions can help boost efficiency in today’s busy ENT clinic, offer comprehensive reporting, and help deliver more patient-centric care.
Increase ENT Clinic Efficiency Through Teleaudiology
SHOEBOX Remote is a state-of-the-art teleaudiology platform that enables audiologists to evaluate patients remotely. Our teleaudiology solution includes everything needed for remote consultation, including a web-based audiometer powered by easy-to-use software for testing patients. As a result, clinics can offer full diagnostic testing to more patients in more locations.
With SHOEBOX Remote, patients can visit the ENT clinic that is most convenient for them, regardless of whether there is a full-time audiologist physically present or not.
Any staff member in the ENT clinic, including technicians, administrative staff, nurses or medical aides, can assist the patient. They help the patient connect to the remote audiologist and then also assist with transducer and video otoscopy placement. The audiologist then remotely administers the diagnostic test, reviews and interprets the results and determines the next best steps for the patient. They can even communicate directly with the ENT physician in real time through video conferencing, allowing for immediate feedback. And because the SHOEBOX Remote system is web-based, the ENT physician has quick and easy access to the patient’s test results and the audiologist’s notes and recommendations.
SHOEBOX Remote has the following features:
- Pure tone air conduction testing up to 8 kHz with the capability to test thresholds, most comfortable levels (MCLs) and uncomfortable levels (UCLs). There is also a choice of multiple signal sound types.
- Forehead bone conduction testing up to 4 kHz with optimal placement for ease of use in a remote setting.
- Support for various speech testing procedures, such as Speech Reception Threshold (SRT), QuickSIN™, and Speech Discrimination testing, with word lists specific to local regions.
- The ability to capture photos with a patient or technician-guided video otoscopy allowing healthcare professionals to examine the ear canal and eardrum remotely.
- Built-in video conferencing capabilities to facilitate remote communication between healthcare professionals and patients.
- A talk forward/talk back feature enabling healthcare professionals to guide patients during the testing process as required.
- On-screen display of audiogram with the ability to input comments, allowing for easy and accurate interpretation of test results.
Customizable and Comprehensive Reporting
SHOEBOX Remote reporting and data management is powered by industry-leading, cloud-based technology and is designed to streamline and modernize the reporting process in ENT clinics with straightforward and secure access to patient data and test results. SHOEBOX Remote enables users to download customizable and comprehensive reports, which can be shared with patients, referring providers and insurance companies. The solution allows ENT clinics to create an efficient and easy-to-use reporting environment that can help them save time and streamline the report management process with effortless data sharing amongst team members, saving time and reducing costly errors. The result is a more efficient and patient-centered clinic experience, enabling a fully paperless practice.
Manage Backlogs with SHOEBOX PureTest
ENT clinics often encounter backlogs with patients waiting to receive diagnostic audiology services. Backlogs can have a negative impact on the quality of care provided, leading to longer wait times, decreased patient satisfaction and potential adverse health outcomes.
In such cases, SHOEBOX PureTest can be a true game-changer. It is a streamlined, stand-alone testing solution with an easy-to-use interface that can be used for auto-threshold testing.
With SHOEBOX PureTest, more staff can efficiently administer hearing tests, eliminating the need to depend solely on busy audiologists. This benefit not only saves valuable time but helps reduce backlogs. In addition, clinics can quickly and accurately assess patients’ hearing, only referring them to an audiologist for further diagnostic evaluation if necessary.
Client Success Story: Streamlined Operations and Improved Patient Experience
We’ve helped enhance how one of our Arizona-based ENT customers operates by addressing their shortage of audiologists at some locations. This client operates a chain of ten clinics, with audiologists only working from three.
Previously, patients had to travel to a different clinic with an audiologist on site, or their audiologists would travel between clinics, causing problematic bottlenecks and inconvenience for both parties.
Now, with the help of our advanced audiological technology, they’ve made this process more efficient and seamless. First, patients begin their journey with an automated audiogram using PureTest, which supplies the clinic with an initial insight into their hearing status. Then, based on the results, the clinic will refer the patient to an audiologist for additional full diagnostic testing only when required.
This initial step streamlines the clinic’s process and optimizes the audiologists’ time. The patient doesn’t have to travel to a different location, and the audiologist doesn’t have to travel out of the clinic to meet the patient. This simple yet effective solution has helped lower wait times, enhance patient satisfaction and streamline our client’s operations.
SHOEBOX Remote is a powerful tool that can help ENT clinics offer audiology services in a more efficient, cost-effective, and patient-centered fashion. By using SHOEBOX Remote and PureTest, clinics can increase efficiency, manage backlogs, and even provide full remote audiology evaluations. These optimizations ultimately lead to improved patient satisfaction and better care outcomes.
If you’re looking for a complete solution to help manage audiology services in your ENT clinic, we may be the solution you’re looking for. Contact us to discover how your clinic will benefit from our digital audiometry solutions.