Does this sound familiar? Mr. Smith, a new patient, visits your office a couple weeks after his fitting. You inquire about how he’s doing with his new hearing aids, where he’s worn them and what listening challenges he’s encountered. But, instead of sharing a wealth of detail, Mr. Smith provides answers that are vague, incomplete or, as it turns out, just plain inaccurate.
Despite the lack of complete and accurate information, you make repeated attempts to troubleshoot issues and fine tune the patient’s hearing aids. You give it your best effort—but you wonder if he’ll be happy with the ultimate outcome.
It’s not Mr. Smith’s fault. Most of us, regardless of age, have trouble remembering details from yesterday, much less from a couple of weeks ago. Wouldn’t it be great if you could access objective data about Mr. Smith’s listening experiences throughout the course of a day? Even better, what if Mr. Smith could add perspective with in-the-moment subjective ratings of his experiences?
New Technologies Enable Collaboration
Unitron developed its Log It All solution and Patient Ratings smartphone app to enable a new, more robust level of insights into the patient experience. All of this is driven by dramatic changes in our industry and in the minds of hearing-impaired consumers, according to Don Hayes, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research for Unitron Global.
“Patients are more connected and informed than ever before, and they come to us with new expectations around service and dialogue,” explains Dr. Hayes. “As hearing healthcare professionals, we can either fight these changes or embrace them and thrive.“
Log It All and Patient Ratings respond to a changing hearing healthcare landscape by delivering an unprecedented level of information that shifts the patient-clinician engagement process from a traditional medical model—in which the patient provides information to the clinician, who then dictates a course of action—to a more collaborative model.
“With the collaborative model, the clinician becomes a trusted advisor, someone who’s not there to enforce a treatment, but to open the door for patients to test something out,” says Dr. Hayes. “When these patients are happy with the result, they’ll go back to their everyday lives and tell everyone around them how thrilled they are with their hearing aids and how the clinician really listened to them.”
An Integrated Two-Pronged Approach
Unitron’s two-pronged approach to obtaining deeper patient insights works like this:
- Log It All, a component of Unitron’s TrueFit fitting software, goes well beyond data logging, capturing quantitative data about the patient’s listening experiences in seven distinct environments: conversation in quiet, conversation in a small group, conversation in a crowd, conversation in noise, quiet, noise and music.
- Patient Ratings is the first smartphone app that allows patients to rate their in-the-moment listening experiences by tapping on a happy or unhappy face. They may also enter comments that provide context to the ratings.
Information from Log It All and Patient Ratings is combined to give the hearing healthcare professional a complete view of the patient experience with hearing aids; this, in turn, enables evidence-based recommendations to address issues and optimize hearing aid performance for each patient.
“At Unitron, our goal has always been to make sure we’re giving hearing healthcare professionals the tools to be successful with every patient fitting. Our unique approach to patient insights definitely fulfills this objective,” comments Dr. Hayes. “Ultimately, it’s about creating advocates—patients who are so happy, they refer family and friends to the clinic, contributing to a highly sustainable business model.”
Contact your amg™ representative to learn more about Log It All and Patient Ratings from Unitron.