TELEHEALTH, CURBSIDE, and DROP-BOX SERVICES: EXPLANATION OF SERVICES
Though it’s always best to meet your healthcare professional in person, many patient visits do not need to occur face-to-face. Telehealth connects patients with providers through a variety of methods. Telehealth audiology services are available for new and existing patients.
Benefits of Telehealth:
- Eliminate transportation cost
- Decreased need to take time off work
- Improved access to care
- Reduced chance of catching illnesses
- Shorten waiting room times
- Uninterrupted care
Telehealth services we offer include:
HEARING AID CONSULTATION
Initial hearing aid consultations can be performed by video conference or phone appointment. Our audiologist will walk you through a series of questions to determine your needs, and testing may need to be scheduled at a later date. If you have had a hearing test previously, the audiologist will want to review the test results. In some cases, you may be able to complete an in-home hearing screening until you are able to schedule an in-person evaluation. These appointments will include:
- A consultation on hearing loss and its influence on health and well-being
- Assessments to determine the effect of hearing loss on the patient
- Descriptions and demonstrations of available hearing aid options, including features suitable for patient’s lifestyle
- Hearing aid device sizing
- Hearing aid selection by style, color, manufacturer, and technology level
- Pricing and purchase options to fit patient’s budget, including available financing solutions
NEW HEARING AID FITTING AND ORIENTATION
When your new hearing aids arrive to our office, the audiologist can pre-program your hearing aids and package them with an instruction booklet and all the tools you will need to use and maintain your devices. If you are unable to be seen in-person for your initial fitting, you have the option to pick up your hearing aids using our curbside or drop-box service and schedule a telehealth appointment to complete your fitting and orientation remotely using video conferencing (provided that your hearing aid model is compatible with remote support). This is most successful with patients who have previous experience with hearing aids, but can be effective with new hearing aid wearers who have some familiarity with digital devices such as smartphones or tablets, or have a family member or friend who can assist.
HEARING AID FOLLOW-UP CARE
Hearing aid follow-up care can be performed via telehealth. Phone or video conferencing provides a time for the patient to speak with the audiologist about their daily experiences wearing their hearing aids and to discuss any questions or concerns. This allows for the audiologist to review important usage information or to provide instruction on the care of your hearing aids. Depending on your hearing aid model, the audiologist may be able to make adjustments remotely to optimize your hearing aid settings.
Remote hearing aid programming is available for select hearing aid models. Please call to confirm your model supports this service.
Some of today’s new hearing devices allow for remote programming adjustments. Depending on the model of your hearing aid, adjustments to sensitivity, range, frequency response, noise reduction, and other settings can be carried out remotely. Contact your audiologist to find out if your hearing aid model supports this feature.
Requirements for a successful remote session include:
- Compatible hearing aid model
- A smartphone, tablet, or computer equipped with a camera and microphone
- Manufacturer-specific application with remote support feature must be installed on a smartphone, tablet, or computer (free download). Your audiologist can guide you through this process.
- Bluetooth connection to your hearing aids. Your audiologist can assist you with this if needed.
- Strong WIFI connection; 4G or greater is recommended
- Email address provided to your audiologist
- Some familiarity with digital technology, or someone who can assist the patient
HEARING AID TROUBLESHOOTING
Hearing aid maintenance issues frequently can be resolved from the comfort of your own home. Phone conferencing may provide adequate guidance for some issues; however, a video call works best and allows the audiologist to view any physical damage that may be contributing to the hearing aid problem and also allows the audiologist to provide visual instruction and demonstration to the patient.
Our practice provides Curbside and Drop-Box hearing aid repairs in the event that device issues cannot be remedied through a televisit.
If you need an adjustment and you have a hearing device that is not equipped with remote programming, or you need a simple repair or clean & check, we can still help. Contact our office to arrange a time to drop off your hearing aids. We will discuss your programming needs, make any adjustments, and arrange for your pickup. If you scheduled an appointment time, your hearing aids will be serviced on-site while you wait in your car. You will be informed if your hearing aid cannot be repaired in the office and needs to be sent to the manufacturer.
You can also use our curbside services to pick up any supplies that you may need, such as batteries, wax traps, audio wipes, domes, storage case or pouch. Hearing aid accessories and assistive listening devices also are available for pickup. For your convenience, we can arrange to mail these items to you or drop them off at your door if you are sheltering in place or are homebound.
Drop-box service is available during business hours as well as after hours. You may use the drop-box for simple hearing aid adjustments, clean & checks, and hearing aid repairs. Call our office prior to using the drop-box service so that we are aware you will be dropping off your hearing devices. You will be asked to complete a simple form detailing what the issue is and what you are requesting, with your name, contact phone number, and email address. You should complete this form in advance at home, as there will be no forms or pens available at the drop-box in order to minimize risk of infection. Place your hearing aids in a small case or plastic bag with your instructions, to be placed in the drop-box. While the drop-box is equipped with a tamper-resistant lock and we make every effort to ensure the security of your hearing devices, we cannot guarantee 100% security from vandalism, burglary, acts of God, or other unforeseen events to the drop-box.