How to Succeed in a Virtual World as an Audiologist

How to Succeed in a Virtual World as an Audiologist

It is no secret that the healthcare field requires technology. Whether it be through testing or communication, technology is advancing healthcare business practices quickly. Traditional methods just don’t cut it anymore. So, how do you succeed in a virtual world as an audiologist?
Define Your Strategy
When you are considering telehealth, it is important to consider some key factors, like:

  • What services do you want to offer?
  • How do you want to process billing?
  • Are you going to handle a lot of the backend work or are you going to delegate it? And if you are, who is responsible for what?
  • Is the platform you are considering completely secure and HIPAA compliant? Can you offer it in your state?

All these questions should have firm answers that allow you to move forward with confidence.
Choose a Provider Who is Reliable and Efficient
There are a lot of free video providers (like Zoom, Skype and Facetime) and while those are great, they are not secure or compliant with HIPAA. We probably don’t have to stress to you the importance of security. You will want to find a provider (like myVirtualClinic) that can offer a secure portal, so the patient’s information gated and protected.
Commit and Train Your Employees
Whether you want to use this exclusively or delegate roles to people in your office, you will want to decide how you integrate the service into your business practice and integrate your employees, so they have a grasp on what is expected of them.
Test Out Your New Platform
Once your platform is live and you can poke around, make sure you set up mock appointments and have some employees test it out with you. You want to make sure you are completely comfortable with it and get any questions answered from your provider before you offer it to your patients.
Embrace Technology!
When you make the decision to offer telehealth services, that opens many more doors for you, including:

  • Treating more patients (expanding your reach to target more areas)

Rural areas lack audiologists and one study showed that more than half of all U.S. counties do not have any audiologists.

  • Limitless potential

Many hearing aid brands come with accompanying smartphone apps so a hearing care provider can remotely program a person’s hearing aids via the app

  • Support for patients who have limited mobility or cannot drive

A lot of older patients must rely on others to get them to appointments. This virtual option can be set up for them and give them more flexibility.

  • Ease of use

Tele Audiology allows you to see more patients and process payments through the tele audiology portal securely and efficiently

  • People are shown to be receptive to Telehealth (or Tele-Audiology)

A recent audiology study, 20 participants with dementia were fitted at the university clinic with hearing aids, which were paired to a smartphone app, managed by their caregivers. Researchers monitored wearing time, program use, and the patient’s satisfaction in different real-world listening conditions. The staff could remotely change noise reduction and other algorithms and communicate through real-time video calls, as well as text and voice chat services. The results: Caregivers rated the participants “general comprehension” as 4.5 on average on a 5-point scale in the telehealth period, compared to 2.7 when they weren’t using the remote service. Caregivers said the remote service decreased their stress and improved the patients’ “alertness” and “awareness.”

  • Telehealth can potentially improve the Audiology field as a whole

The current goal of telehealth audiology is convenience but over time, it could bring down hearing aid prices. While regulations and insurance coverage vary by state, the trend is towards more coverage of telehealth.

  • Less overhead

Efficiency saves money!
Building a successful tele-audiology program includes these tips. If you have any questions about telehealth or adapting to technology as an audiologist, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at AudiologyPlus! We are here to support you.

How to Continue Serving Your Patients During Lockdown

How to Continue Serving Your Patients During Lockdown

You don’t need us to tell you that this time is unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals, families, and businesses worldwide. Although much of the population throughout the United States is under “stay at home” orders, you do not need to miss out on all of their business. During this time, you can take advantage of new technologies and strategies to continue to care for your patients and build your practice.

  • Keep communicating with your patients.

A lot of things are uncertain at this time. Do not let your patients feel uncertain about your practice.
Establish clear lines of communication to keep your patients updated on your practice and your services. You can send emails to your patient list, or call those who need more personal, direct contact for issues like canceling or changing appointments. Social media is a great way to communicate with a broad audience at once.
In addition to updating your patients about changes at your practice (such as different office hours or limited appointment types), use this opportunity to convey your care for your patients, your employees, and everyone who is suffering at this time.

  • Bring in new help.

You know that now is a time to take advantage of new technologies and avenues of productivity. However, you may also know that technology is not your strong suit. If this is the case, it might be the right time to bring in help. You may need to hire a new team member who specializes in social media, telehealth technology, or other types of remote technology.
If new weaknesses appear in your business as you adapt to this unique time, take the opportunity to fix the problem rather than becoming frustrated. Try adding new technologies or programs to your business’s repertoire to meet these new challenges.
You might also need more help from a company like AudiologyPlus, which specializes in digital marketing for hearing practices.

In most states and cities around the country, only employees who have been deemed “essential” are permitted to go to work at this time. If your team is not essential, you may be working remotely. Even if your practice is permitted to stay open, you will likely be looking for ways to cut down on the number of patients who need to come to your office. It’s likely your patients will also want to avoid going out whenever possible, unless they are experiencing an emergency situation.
Rather than missing out on the business of all of these patients and leaving them without professional care, utilize telehealth technologies. This type of health care uses telecommunication technology to allow you to meet with and care for your patients without seeing them in person. Using a laptop, tablet, or even smartphone, you can see and talk to your patients, evaluate their needs, and provide the information and care they need.
In addition to cutting down on your team’s exposure to other people, as well as limiting your patients’ exposure, you can also cut costs at this time by utilizing telehealth technology.
This time of isolation can be an opportunity for you to reach and care for your patients in new ways. If you would like to learn more about how your business can continue to succeed during this unique time, please contact us at AudiologyPlus.

How to Become a Telemedicine Provider

How to Become a Telemedicine Provider

Telehealth (or telemedicine) is completely changing the healthcare landscape and how practices offer essential services to their patients. By using telehealth, medical practices of all types and sizes can maintain patients’ health needs from anywhere, while generating more revenue and keeping costs down. And studies even show that telehealth is the type of service that patients increasingly prefer.
Get started with your telehealth plan by following the easy steps below:
Organize Your Goals for Your Practice
You should plan for and consider some key factors when moving toward a telemedicine program to ensure the transition is easy and successful. You should consider things like revenue, customer satisfaction, wait times, no-shows and cancellations, staff efficiency, patient retention, new patients, and any other measurements that are important for your practice.
Find the Right Partner
There are a lot of telehealth technology options available, but you will want to make sure you include things like:

  • HIPAA-compliance
  • Availability in your state
  • Automated appointment booking and reminders
  • Secure video and file sharing
  • Branding for your business

You need to choose a technology that enables your practice to deploy an easy-to-use virtual platform for a small investment. Just because you want to become more modernized, doesn’t mean you need to pay an arm and a leg!
Train Your Staff
Once you select your telehealth platform, you will want to train your staff and get them up to speed on the software. You may want to designate a few key employees who can become immersed in the process and teach others about how it works. Or you may want to designate specific roles to each employee and assign them features that will be part of their job duties (for example, your receptionist is responsible for the appointment scheduling portion while your office manager is responsible for the billing portion).
You can also easily test out the appointment feature with your staff so all of you are comfortable with the virtual platform.
Launch the Platform on Your Website
Whether you do a formal announcement or just add a link to your site, you will need to make the service available to your patients online. We recommend you add a link to the homepage, so it is easily accessible.
Release an Announcement to Your Current Patients and Market to Potential New Patients
You can do this by either emailing your current patients (if your records include email addresses) or you can add a banner image to your site. You will also want to post this update to your social media sites, as well. Any way you can spread the word!
While telehealth may be a new addition to your everyday practices, you may find that it is a very welcome option to ensure your patients receive the care they need. You will be more able to treat even more patients with ease.
To learn more about telehealth and video appointments, please contact us at AudiologyPlus!