Experienced audiologists are a scarce resource that does not come cheap, but the demands on the quality of care are still the same, or even higher than before. Also, large retail companies that enter the hearing aid market expect high volume throughput of clients, at minimized staff cost, with maintained quality of service.
From the customer side, there are expectations that a clinic—no matter which—will provide high-quality examinations, accurate diagnoses, appropriate solutions, and proper fittings to help them improve their hearing and by that also their quality of life.
Adhering to best practices and remembering workflows is not a trivial task. A full audiometry session may involve a large number of steps, including questionnaires, pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, tympanometry, and real-ear measurements. Each step includes numerous sub-steps and the results of these sub-steps may imply that additional tests should be performed. For example, during pure tone audiometry, a large hearing level difference between two adjacent frequencies on the same ear may indicate that inter-octave frequencies should be included. For an audiologist with limited experience juggling these options might be a daunting task, but also experienced audiologists may miss subtle details. In addition, for a large chain of clinics, it is of utmost importance to track any deviation from best practice, as well as maintain a consistent level of quality across the entire chain of clinics. This is where real-time quality assessment and user nudging turn out to be very useful.