An audiologist’s primary responsibilities are identifying customers with hearing loss, conducting proper evaluations, making accurate diagnoses, and providing appropriate solutions. This is done through a carefully constructed workflow, a proper series of tests, and personalized decisions based on each customer’s unique needs and the severity of their hearing loss.
Some audiologists consistently follow best-practice protocols and provide high-quality service, but others may rush through appointments, potentially skipping crucial tests, making assumptions, or relying on default decision-making.
Audiologists – like other healthcare providers – sometimes make diagnostic errors. In fact, reports show that an astounding 10-15% of medical diagnoses are incorrect, according to an article in Hearing Health and Technology Matters. In hearing clinics – as in other healthcare settings – diagnostic errors may occur due to "clinical blind spots.”
For instance, an audiologist might make assumptions or swift decisions, either because they’re overconfident or because they’re rushing through appointments (or both!). Perhaps they're making incorrect decisions or diagnoses because they haven’t conducted a complete and thorough exam or followed the proper workflow to conduct all recommended tests. Or they aren’t following the proper steps to avoid errors.
So, for clinic owners, managers, and heads of audiology: Do you know what really goes on in your hearing clinic? Do you have data (or other proof) that your clinicians consistently perform high-quality examinations, follow best practice workflows, conduct fittings properly, and recommend the most appropriate hearing aids for each customer’s specific needs? And is your clinic looking at (and using) this critical data to drive better business decisions?