With most in-person healthcare appointments on hold while the world strives to control the coronavirus, telehealth has become indispensable. From Australia to Brazil, governments are easing restrictions to allow people to receive audiological services remotely and professionals are working around the clock to develop their online offering in response to the increased demand.
To help you deliver individualized audiological services through telehealth, the Ida Institute has a suite of free and simple tools called Telecare. The tools support you in providing quality, person-centered care from a distance. Use them to better understand your clients’ situations and needs, and to help them prepare in advance for online appointments.
The benefits of telehealth
Evidence throughout the healthcare field confirms that the satisfaction and results realized through telehealth are similar to in-person appointments, while convenience and travel-related cost and time savings for clients are seen as benefits of treating them remotely. Studies demonstrating these findings are mounting. For example:
A study in the journal, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, reviewed the outcomes of 4,607 diabetic patients who received telemedicine-enhanced care versus 4651 who received conventional care. Patients who received telemedicine care were found to manage their diabetes better and have lower blood sugar levels than the group receiving conventional care.
Another study, this one evaluating the benefits of early intervention through tele-audiology, found that language outcomes and auditory skills were as good or better for children in the study receiving tele-services versus those receiving in-person visits. Families receiving tele-services also reported feeling “equally supported, knowledgeable, and confident in fostering their child’s development” as their counterparts.
A related study by the same authors also found a significant cost savings of tele-audiology for early intervention when compared with in-home visits.
“Hearing care professionals are adopting the use of tele-audiology in ever-greater numbers,” says Ida’s Managing Director, Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Our Telecare tools offer them a practical way to help them extend their care in a person-centered manner by opening and guiding conversations, putting client needs front-and-center, and empowering them be a strong partners in their own treatment.”
Making the appointment personal
Send relevant Ida Telecare tools to your clients ahead of appointments so they can consider their motivations and priorities ahead of time with their communication partners in the comfort of their homes. When they are better prepared, clients are more equipped to make decisions about their hearing care. And that will help you focus on the things that matter most when you meet with them.
The way the tools work is simple: select the tool that suits your client’s situation best and send them a link to the tool which can be completed at their convenience. Ask them to email the results to you and use them in the appointment as a starting point for your conversation. Clients can also print their results or save them as a pdf for later use. Tools can be completed once, or repeatedly to see changes over time.
Highlights from the suite of Ida Telecare tools include:
Why Improve My Hearing: Send this to clients to help them express how motivated they are to take action on their hearing loss.
Living Well: This tool allows clients to identify when and where communication is most important to them and how to better manage those situations.
The People I Talk To: Clients can use this tool to identify the people they communicate with most often and the questions they want to discuss during their appointments.
Tinnitus Thermometer: This tool helps clients articulate how they are experiencing tinnitus at a given moment and what expectations they have of the appointment.
To learn more about Ida Telecare tools, visit idainstitute.com/tools/telecare