As an Audiologist for almost 25 years, I have never seen more of a golden opportunity than now to shout from the rooftops the importance of hearing healthcare! In my consulting role at CQ Partners as Director of Audiology, I am often asked how my practices can reach and help more people. Well, this my friends, is the time!
I, like many of you, received countless calls, texts, emails and thoughts from family and friends who know that I am in the field about last week’s FDA announcement paving the way for Over the Counter (OTC) hearing aids. Initially, I must admit, my reaction fell short of jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch. I thought to myself, “this is nothing new, OTC has been around for years in some form or fashion…why all the noise?” But as an educator, I also see the potential if we use this moment to create our own signal in the noise.
As an expert in hearing healthcare, you have an important point of view. Now is the time to share it, as a light is shining on our industry. Our message can be spread in many ways: everyday conversations with friends and family, calls with Primary Care Physicians regarding mutual patient’s test results, videos on our social media and websites. It can be shared by booking time with a local news station or writing an article for your town’s local paper. It can be shared in your practice’s newsletter or blog featuring a patient success story tied to the importance of the diagnostic process.
This isn’t simply about the price of a hearing aid; it is about a new service delivery model. The patients should understand the importance of the process for proper and safe treatment of hearing loss. This is time to share what we know to be true. Far too many people walk around without ever having a baseline hearing evaluation and millions suffer with untreated hearing loss. We as professionals are well-versed in the ramifications and comorbidities and have an opportunity to share that knowledge with the world right now!
Your patients are looking to you to for answers. My advice to my colleagues is to PREPARE, PRACTICE and PREACH! Celebrate your area of expertise and read up on everything you can get your hands on to decide how you will incorporate this decision into your practice. Be one step ahead of your patients with information. Be ready at any moment to share your excitement about hearing healthcare and why the walls of stigma and denial of treatment need to be torn down.
At CQ Partners, we believe everyone should have a comprehensive hearing evaluation by a hearing healthcare professional to determine the type and degree of any “perceived” hearing loss. Treatment should not precede the diagnostic process. However, we know that some patients may not take this step, and these patients still require care when they come to us.
Whatever your opinion may be, CQ Partners is here to help you prepare your practice, educate your patients, and position yourself as the expert in your field. We are a resource, so you do not have to navigate this time alone!
#CQPartners #CAAC #audpeeps #OTCHearingaids