With the recent rush towards low contact and no contact audiology appointments, many hearing care professionals are looking for practical ways to add or increase telehealth services. Embedding Ida Telecare tools on their websites is one easy way to do this. The person-centered tools help improve communication between hearing care professionals and their clients. They’re free and the process couldn’t be easier.
Cobus Marais, of SoundWave Audiology in Hamilton, New Zealand, is one of the professionals who has made Ida Telecare tools available to clients on his website. Marais has been caring for people with hearing loss for 17 years. In that time, he’s learned that offering true person-centered care can make an enormous difference.
“Being able to focus on what is important to each individual patient right from the start is very powerful,” says Marais. “It means that the patient has an opportunity to reflect on their needs or those of their significant other. Ultimately both the audiologist and their client tend to be more prepared for the meeting, which means it can be more focused and provide patients with insight into what we're going to be doing, why we are doing it, and how it ties back to their questions or concerns.”
We asked Marais why he decided to embed the tools and what benefits he and his clients have seen.
Why did you decide to embed Ida Telecare tools on your website?
I think Ida Telecare tools really facilitate true patient-centered care. If clients are prompted before attending their appointments to complete the appropriate tools, it ensures that the clinical discussion is centered around what is important to that particular individual from the outset of the appointment. The tools enable greater insight into the patients’ specific needs and facilitate preparation prior to the initial meeting so patients can self-assess, consider what is important to them, and reflect on how to formulate their concerns, queries and needs.
Is there a favorite Ida tool you recommend or use most often with clients?
Do you typically send clients specific links to the relevant tool or do you let them discover them on their own?
We try to ascertain what the client is coming into the clinic for at the time of making the appointment. An email is then sent to the client with a link to the specific tool on our website that we would like them to complete.
How do your clients who have used the tools feel about them?
They think they are a wonderful addition to our services.
How do Ida Telecare tools complement or strengthen person-centered care?
Telecare tools facilitate better preparation by the client and the clinician prior to the first meeting. They allow clients to reflect on their hearing health needs and provide them with the opportunity to consider how to put their thoughts and feelings into words. The tools ensure we can start talking about what is important to the patient and/or their significant others from the outset of the first meeting. And that saves time in clinic — specifically in formulating rehabilitation goals (e.g. COSI goals).
Though not a Telecare tool, My Hearing Explained is also useful as a quick way to summarize outcomes and options for rehabilitation as well as discussion points or other things to consider.
Visit our Telecare page to see all Ida Telecare tools and more information on how to embed them on your own website.