As an audiologist, I have come across more than one instance where it was necessary to speak loudly to help a patient better hear the conversation taking place in the clinical environment. These situations are certainly not uncommon and can be extremely frustrating not only for the individual with hearing loss but for clinician and/or front office personnel as well. Rather than having your patients struggle through these situations, offer your patients a more positive communication experience without spending a lot of time or money. How?
Equip your front office area as well as your individual counseling rooms with easy-to-use and affordable personal listening systems such as a PockeTalker Ultra Duo. In the event communication is hampered because of your patient’s hearing loss, crack out the PockeTalker, put the headphones on the patient, and then ask “Can you hear me better now?” This simple gesture will accomplish several things. First, it will make it much easier for your patient to hear you and benefit from what you have to say during the counseling process. Second, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) assures that individuals’ health information is properly protected in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. When speaking loudly with patients with hearing loss, it is possible for individual identifiable health information to be overheard by patients in residing rooms or in the hall. Investing in a few PockeTalkers for use in your clinic will certainly comply with HIPAA goals and requirements. Finally, integrating this kind of technology into your clinical practice will help generate awareness of what is available and potentially facilitate more patients to inquire about amplification options. For more information, contact customer service at Oaktree Products toll free 800.347.1960.