Update from the Audiology Clinic
While we had to close most of our clinics, we took the decision to keep our Emergency Hearing Aid Clinic open. It’s especially hard for those who have hearing difficulties at this time. We have been managing our clients as best as we can. Our Audiology clinic continues to provide an emergency service to the community for their hearing rehabilitation needs – primarily through telehealth contact and assistance with hearing aids and other devices using delivery and courier options available. With social isolation restrictions in place and most of our clients over 60, we had to think of a new system of operation.
We had to cancel close to 300 clients over the last few weeks, and we’ve endeavoured to have a clinician make contact with each of them to discuss if any issues are requiring urgent or semi urgent attention. Many calls we receive from clients are regarding repairs and requests for hearing aid batteries and general consumables. We had one of our reception staff take a supply of these home to continue to mail out these consumables, but any repairs that were needing to be conducted were not able to be actioned.
With us now having the ability to access the building in the capacity of offering repairs, we are able to ensure that clients facing difficulties with their hearing aids are able to have them addressed. In addition to this, we have requests for replacement of lost hearing aids that we are also able to action.
We are still actively contacting our clients who have been affected by the clinic closure, and where required and possible, we can connect to their hearing aids via the telehealth feature that the majority of hearing aid manufacturers have very fortunately introduced over the last 18 months. This allows us to perform many adjustments to the hearing aids that would previously only been able to be performed in clinic.
While we are still not able to perform hearing assessments as this involves face to face contact, we are moving towards one-on-one online rehabilitation training courses for some of our clients, and group sessions for others.
Empowering clients to troubleshoot problems with hearing aids themselves is likely to prompt a shift in habits and could reduce foot traffic in the clinic for the future.