Person-centered Care Critical During COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted hearing health care, potentially for the better. Both audiologists and patients have needed to adapt. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I provide my suggestions for how providers can best partner with their patients during this difficult time. Practicing person-centered care will not only help providers forge strong relationships with patients during this time of crisis, it will help patients develop the self-care skills they will need for success with their hearing health for years to come. To read the full article click here

How Providers Can Best Partner With Patients Today

How can providers best partner with their patients during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond? Here are my suggestions. Please add yours in the comments.

Adapt your communication tips for the changing times

Teaching your patients communication best practices has always been an important part of person-centered care. Keep your tips current by incorporating advice for new challenges like attending video conference calls and communicating with people wearing masks.

Promote independence

In this new world of remote care, you will not be able to manually adjust every setting or clean every wax guard for all of your patients. Teach your patients the skills they need to care for and maintain their devices by themselves from home. These new abilities will build their confidence and free up time in post-pandemic appointments for counseling and aural rehabilitation activities. Consider remote programming of devices as well. Many manufacturers offer this feature.

Think outside the hearing aid

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are miracle devices that help your patients hear their best, but in these challenging times, other options may be needed, particularly if a device becomes lost or broken. Become familiar with high quality over-the-counter-type amplification devices like Bose Hearphones or apps like Ear Machine that you can recommend to patients. These options work best for people with mild to moderate hearing loss but may be better than nothing for patients with higher degrees of loss in a pinch. Speech-to-text apps are helpful for people with all degrees of hearing loss.

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10 thoughts on “Person-centered Care Critical During COVID-19

  1. Shari,

    Every word you say is spot on and eloquently relevant.

    I have found that I am my own, best advocate, for getting what I need, by doing research and by keeping in close communication with my audiologist.

    Its my responsibility as a patient, as an educator (I created a support group for DHH people, where I live) and as a consumer.

    Keep these blogs coming. You capture the spirit of how to put a positive spin on what could be perceived as devastating.

    HEARING loss doesn’t bring me down. It enables me to show compassion, patience and give support to other DHH like me.

    Regards,
    RK

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for the kind words and your great work as an advocate.

  2. More..

    Google Meet has been a game changer for me.

    I use it with family and friends, because those live captions (now free, thanks to your petition) are perfectLy executed, by machine learning. So helpful. I feel as if I’m really part of the conversation, because I can actively and immediately know what’s being said by whom.

    Thanks so much for pushing video conferencing platforms to provide free captions. What a remarkable achievement. Kudos to you. You are brave and professional.

    I don’t think you stepped on anyone’s toes, by this accomplishment.

    RK

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      So glad Google Meet is working for you. I am very happy with it as well.

  3. A good column, Shari. Re Bose Hearphones, which I’m using a great deal in preference to my hearing aids, my hearing loss is ranked “moderate to severe” and yet I find the Hearphones fully up to the job with oomph to spare. They are very sophisticated with features I have yet to master. And with the benefit that they are ‘unlooseable’!

    • It’s been 1 1/2 years, since I stopped wearing my PHONAK hearing aids, with a Compilot and associated remote microphone..no need for those, ever since I started wearing my Bose Hearphones…similar story…despite the fact that I have moderate to severe hearing loss, this device works for me, in terms of Speech recognition, noise reduction, bluetooth connectivity…better than any hearing aids I’ve ever used in the past.
      Bose is supposed to release an actual OTC hearing aid (the Hearphones device is considered an assistive listening device), some time in 2021. Although, this could be delayed because of the COVD19 debacle.

      If you have any questions about Bose Hearphones functions, you can google the user manual, or call any Bose store and they can clearly explain anything you might want to learn….F Y. I

      I began using ALL of the great features of the Bose device, immediately…spent a few hours, adapting and then, I started flying. Haven’t looked back.

      RK

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      I am very excited by the innovation that we are seeing in hearing technology! I expect more will come with the advent of more OTC devices. Thanks for your comment.

  4. I very much appreciate the recommendations in your blog . This pandemic , with most people wearing masks, has made me very anxious to a point I dont want to interact with anyone. Its especially bad at doctor appointments……I have no idea what is being said or asked. They think speaking louder works….it doesnt as we all know. Luckily they allow my husband into these appointments, and he ‘takes over” while I sit there. Horrible experience to a point I feel like crying. I so enjoy your blogs,,,,,will look into the Bose hearphone . Thank you much . Keep safe!

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      So glad you find them helpful. Stay strong! We will all learn to adapt and get through this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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