How Audiologists Can Overcome Barriers to Person-centered Care

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While many audiologists believe strongly in person-centered care and would like to implement its tenets at every appointment, barriers do exist. My latest article for Ida Institute discusses practical ways audiologists can overcome their concerns. To read the full article click here

Person-centered Care Makes the Appointment All about YOU

In my ideal world, I imagine an audiology appointment that is all about me — my hearing loss, my lifestyle, my communication needs, and my struggles. The audiologist would ask about my most challenging listening situations, discuss the solutions I am currently using, and make recommendations for ways to boost success. Of course, there would also be a hearing test, a physical examination of my ear and an inspection of any devices I currently use, but the primary focus would be me and the best way to solve my hearing problems. Sometimes this feels far away from the typical patient’s experience.

Person-centered care (PCC) could make this a reality. Like most people with hearing loss, I wish all providers practiced PCC at every appointment. From the patient’s perspective this includes four main parts: (1) Partner with your patient, (2) Make your office hearing-loss friendly, (3) Embrace creativity and (4) Think beyond the technology. You can read about each of these components in my e-book Person-centered Care from the Patient’s Perspective.

Possible Barriers to Person-centered Care

Many audiologists would like to practice person-centered care, but barriers do exist. Some worry there isn’t enough time in the appointment to carry out all the needed technical tasks, let alone the more personal approaches. Others feel uncomfortable with emotional conversations or believe they have not been trained appropriately for this aspect of care. Audiologists may discern that their patients are already doing fine without these added steps, or that they must focus on selling hearing aids to stay in business. These are all valid concerns. The full article includes my suggestions for overcoming them.

Change is hard, so don’t be discouraged if PCC seems difficult to implement. Experiment with a variety of procedures and methods to find what works best for your practice and keep in mind that change can be gradual. Don’t feel like you need to change everything overnight. Educate yourself on new trends through Ida’s Inspired by Ida certification program. It walks you through the practical steps needed to implement PCC in your practice. Upon completion, your clinic will receive an Inspired by Ida certification showing your dedication to PCC.

Click here to read the full article on Ida Institute.

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