Free new resource helps people with hearing loss and professionals build trusting, productive partnerships

By Judith Vonberg

Evidence shows that when clinicians and clients trust each other and work together in an active, equal partnership where decisions are taken jointly, outcomes for clients improve and clinicians experience greater job satisfaction.

But building this partnership is not always easy. With this in mind, the Ida Institute has created a free, interactive, animated resource – Partnering for Great Hearing Care – centered on a series of conversations between Peter, who has hearing loss, and his audiologist Sara.

Peter and Sara show a great partnership in action and give practical examples of how users can work with their client or clinician to build their own productive partnership, based on four building blocks: build trust, connect as people, be active partners, and invite family and friends. 

Users can also watch videos of real-life appointments showing strong hearing care partnerships in action, download a summary of practical tips, and access links to resources that can help further.

‘Speaks to both clients and clinicians’

The guide is designed for use in many different contexts. Hearing care professionals can use it to refresh and update their skills, send it to clients ahead of a first or follow-up appointment, and share it on their clinic’s website or social media channels, while people with hearing loss can download the tips and share the guide with friends, family, and others with hearing loss. The resource is also ideal for integrating into Audiology curricula and training programs for hearing care professionals.

Reflecting on the need for this resource, Lise Lotte Bundesen, Managing Director of the Ida Institute, said: “When there’s trust between clients and healthcare providers, the outcomes are better for everyone. But sadly, as our 2020 Future Hearing Journeys project showed, the field of hearing care is characterized by distrust on many levels.

“By directly addressing trust as a cornerstone of successful hearing care and speaking to both clients and clinicians, this resource can help both groups build trusting, active, and open partnerships that lead to better care and better self-management of the condition.”

‘A fresh and clear look at partnership’

As well as exposing a lack of trust across the sector, the global research project Future Hearing Journeys found that people with hearing loss and professionals value partnership and human connection in hearing care consultations. This reflects a global megatrend across healthcare, but research suggests that real understanding of what it takes to build such partnerships is lacking.

Through interviews with people with hearing loss and their clinicians, the Ida Institute collected insights about successful partnerships and identified the key ingredients. The animated resource was then created and tested with extensive input from consumers and professionals, as well as patient and professional organizations around the world.

Feedback has already been positive, with the guide described by one professional as “a terrific reminder of how to create a patient-centric experience with emphasis on teamwork,” and by a consumer as “a fresh and clear look at the partnership between hearing professionals and those with hearing loss.”

Click here to find out more and to access the animated guide and PDF summary.