Ida Tools in VA Clinics

The Committee for the VA Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ASP) Program Office has developed Implementing Patient-Centered Tools and Resources Created by the Ida Institute in VA Audiology Clinics, which recommends the use of Ida tools in all clinics of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As over 1.6 million veterans have auditory disabilities, and the VA is one of the largest purchasers of hearing aids in the world, it's tremendously exciting for Ida to see patient centered care in audiology brought to so many people.  We firmly believe that applying the principles of patient centered care to appointments will lead to more satisfied clinicians and patients, and lasting results. All of our tools are freely available on this site, as well as tutorials and e-learning materials, to make it possible for you to take these steps in your own clinic.

Clinical Tools

Identify your patients' motivation and provide support on their hearing loss journey.
Motivation Tools

Patient motivation

Assess patient motivation and encourage patients to take responsibility for their own actions and take action on their hearing loss.


Learn how to start a group rehabilitation program to help reduce return rates of hearing aids and to increase patient satisfaction.
Living Well

Living Well

Bring the patient's daily life and specific needs into the appointment as you identify communication situations that are relevant and important to them.
For more tools


Join the Discussion

We're thrilled that Ida tools are being recommended for use in the VA and hope our community is as excited as we are. How do you think the tools can help patients in the VA? Are you or do you know a veteran who could benefit What else can be done to help veterans with hearing loss? Share your thoughts on this month's topic in our Forum.


What do you need to implement the Ida tools in your clinic?

How do patients define patient centered care?

How do patients define patient centered care? What characteristics do they look for in a hearing care professional? Caitlin Grenness and her fellow coauthors interviewed ten older adults who had owned hearing aids for at least one year. She asked them to describe their perceptions of being patient centered. Weigh in on this topic in our Forum
Go to Forum

Ideas Worth Hearing

Hearing Cafe

Hearing Cafe

Is there a cafe or coffee shop located near your clinic? Why not arrange weekly meetings where community members can discuss hearing related issues and challenges over a cup of coffee or tea?
Without Borders

Clinicians Without Borders

Many people live in areas with limited access to hearing healthcare. Make a difference and volunteer a week of your time to work in mobile hearing clinics around the world.

From the editor

Ida Tools Help VA Bring More Patient-Centered Care to Veterans

To better serve the hearing care needs of the more than 1.6 million veterans with auditory disabilities, the Veterans Health Administration continually promotes best practices and clinical education among the auditory staff. In a recent initiative designed to strengthen its focus on patient centered care, a committee is calling upon VA audiologists to consider the benefits of incorporating the full range of Ida Institute tools into daily practice. 
“Patient centered care empowers Veterans to define and achieve their own lifelong goals,” states the official communication. “It considers their whole health—every aspect of life that affects their health and well-being.” The acceptance of the Ida Toolbox by an influential healthcare provider like the VA is a powerful endorsement of the critical importance of patient centered care.  “This is an exciting time for the Ida Institute and all members of the Ida network,” said Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “By endorsing the Ida Toolbox, the VA re-affirms our belief in the enormous potential for patient centered care to become a central focus of the fast-approaching future of hearing healthcare.”

The VA operates one of the largest health care systems in the world, including 800 community-based outpatient clinics. It is also one of the largest purchasers of hearing aids in the world. That’s not surprising considering that tinnitus and hearing loss account for the two most prevalent service-connected disabilities among veterans.  

Entire Toolbox Offer Benefits

Paula J. Myers, PhD, a supervisor of six community-based VA outpatient clinics in Tampa, Florida, is part of a committee that prepared a summary document for VA audiologists on the Ida tools - Incorporating Ida Tools Into Your Daily Patient-Centered Audiology Care. The summary divides the tools into actionable categories that facilitate easy adoption:
  • Motivational Tools to help the clinicians determine readiness for adopting an audiologic rehabilitation intervention such as amplification
  • Communication Partner Tools that facilitate engagement of the patient’s significant other(s) in the rehabilitative process
  • Living Well with Hearing Loss Tool that encourage dialogue between the patient and provider in regards to establishing listening goals and implementing communication strategies to achieve those listening goals
  • Professional Resources that help clinicians learn more about patient-centered care and implementing the approach in clinic. 
Paula Myers at an Ida Seminar in 2011.
With each tool, the summary provides a brief purpose and/or description, links to the tool itself along with instructions and resources about use of the tool, and possible clinical/professional applications. The ethnographic videos in Ida’s Video Library are suggested as an excellent way to obtain insights directly from patients. Dr. Myers highlighted the value of the tools in a presentation at the March Joint Defense Veterans Audiology Conference (JDVAC).  The JCVAC is an annual knowledge-sharing event that brings together members of the Association of VA Audiologists and the Military Audiology Association from across the US.  “I encourage other VA audiologists to check out the Ida resources to use in their clinics PRN (as needed),” said Dr. Myers.
I think the veterans appreciate that we are interested in what matters to them even before they walk in the door.

Practical Applications

The Ida Motivational Tools are already in daily practice at the VA community-based outpatient clinics that Dr. Meyers supervises in Tampa. The Line and the Circle are included in all patients’ case history forms, which patients complete at home, before the first appointment. 

A Typical Day in a Tampa VA Clinic

8-9 patients scheduled, who fill out the Ida Line on their intake forms before the appointment Services: Hearing evaluations, disability evaluations, hearing aid orientations, hearing aid checks, specialized cochlear implant evaluation and programming, vestibular evaluation and electrophysiological evaluations Education classes: Hearing aid accessories, hearing loss management, aural rehabilitation 15-20 walk-ins for repairs and adjustments done by techs (supervised by audiologists)
“The staff appreciates that they can incorporate the Line and Circle elements from the completed case history into a dialogue with patients,” says Dr. Myers. “I think the veterans also appreciate answering the case history questions. It shows them that we are interested in what matters to them even before they walk in the door.” In her individual and group aural rehabilitation classes, Dr. Myers uses the Box to deal with ambivalence as well as the Communication tools, Living Well, and resources from Group AR. Ida’s Self-Development tools and videos are also used during monthly staff in-services on patient centered care.