Telehealth and the Audiologist

As hearing healthcare providers, we often find ourselves in a groove that we’ve developed to manage our clinic lives. This groove allows us to operate in the most efficient way possible, so that we can maximize the time we have and see as many patients as we can; whether that groove be the same lab coat we always wear (the one with the ink-stained pockets), the same testing protocol we’ve always done (hello, NU-6 lists 3A and 4A), or even making the leap of faith to try a different manufacturer for our equipment (what, my favorite immittance bridge is out of production?!).  Human nature makes it easy to gravitate to what we know and are familiar with.  Often, getting started on something new can be the most difficult step.

When the teleaudiology movement started taking off about 8 years ago, it was our Veterans Administration services, or VAs, that lead the charge.  You can read a summary of their work here.  It was new, it was exciting, and it was different.  Here at Otometrics/Audiology Systems, we are so fortunate to have been a part of their process from the beginning – Keeley Moore, M.A., is a Clinical Support Audiologist II and was instrumental in getting the teleaudiology program for the VA system off of the ground.  As a Marine herself, this program was something she was excited to be a part of.    “Teleaudiology in the Veteran’s Administration improves access to healthcare for our nation’s veterans and reduces costs,” Keeley stated to me yesterday.  “Otometrics/Audiology Systems is excited to be a leader of this cutting edge technology and proud to partner with the VA to make this possible.”  To learn more about the VA process on telehealth and how audiology is integrated , check out an article on the program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center HERE.  Or, to watch Keeley give a presentation on teleaudiology and how you can participate in this growing field of audiology check out our Audiology Online course on Teleaudiology HERE

Now for the new, exciting, and scary part.  There is room for those of us in the private sector to venture into the field of teleaudiology; companies like Resound and the Ida Institute have applications for HA programming and appointment prep, respectively.  There have been several articles published as well these past few years that can also add as resource – in January of this year The Hearing Review published a piece on how to consider teleaudiology for a private practice. Check it out HERE.  Mona Dworsack-Dodge, Director of Market Management and Audiology for Otometrics/Audiology Systems, also penned an article in 2013 on teleaudiology – what I especially like about her article is that she outlines some ways you can use teleaudiology in bits and pieces.  “Teleaudiology is the way forward for our profession,” she states in the article.  “The solutions for ‘how’ are surprisingly accessible.” To read the full article, click HERE.

Let’s expand our comfort zone and get a new groove on, shall we?

Have a great weekend everyone!


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