Why audiometric equipment is more than audiometric equipment
Kim Wagner Jensen, Auditbase Business & Customer Care Director
In public audiology clinics, the audiometric equipment that is used for everyday diagnostic hearing assessment and fitting can play a surprisingly important role in triggering everyday productivity gains
It’s not exactly a major revelation to anyone working in the hospital sector that public audiology clinics are under a lot of pressure these days.
Hearing loss is currently the fourth highest cause of disability on the planet and according to the WHO, it is estimated that there are now 466 million people with disabling hearing loss in the world with an annual cost in excess of 750 billion dollars.
With the continued rise and ageing of the global population, this number is set to grow very fast in the years to come. In fact, WHO projections indicate that there will be 630 million people living with disabling hearing loss by 2030, with that number expected to grow to over 900 million by 2050.
No wonder public audiology clinics around the world are busy. Particularly, if you consider that health budgets in many clinics either are flat or even shrinking in spite growing waiting lists and increased pressure.
Time scarcity and heavy workloads
This creates an environment where time-scarcity and heavy workloads has become a new normal. In Auditdata, we have worked closely with public audiology clinics since 1992 to develop and continuously improve Auditbase, our core clinic management system that is now used by more than 80% of all public clinics in the Nordics and the United Kingdom.
We built Auditbase as an open platform providing customers the option to connect nearly any audiometer and fitting equipment to our system. Consequently, many hospital clinics have chosen to use a range of different equipment in their clinics today to help them perform common diagnostic hearing assessment and fitting on patients.
Viewed in isolation most of this equipment works just fine and does what it’s meant to do in the clinic. From an overall clinic perspective, however, having a diverse technology environment with islands of disparate data and poor integration to the core clinic management system can negatively impact everyday productivity.
Take calibration of audiometric equipment for example, which needs to be done by all clinics on a regular basis to prevent the inaccurate recording of test results. In many clinics this is a constant source of irritation, because it’s time consuming to keep track of what and when different pieces of equipment needs calibration. Even more annoying, it often leads to downtime where employees and patients are left to sit idle.
Tackling everyday issues
In Auditdata, we have solved this issue because our testing equipment stores the calibration information in the headset plug. This means system calibration can be done simply by plugging in in a new set of earphones or probes with no hassle whatsoever. And since customers receive new transducers well in advance of the due date of the old ones, they are always ready for the next client without any disruption.
Solving this practical issue is important in its own right, but it is actually dwarfed by an even bigger challenge: The ability to access and capture the operational and clinical data from audiometric equipment and turn this into actionable knowledge.
In today’s public audiology clinic, work practises and patient care needs to be constantly evaluated. This means identifying practise trends, defining accepted levels of care, discovering potential problems and fixing them among lots of other things.
More than anything else, the basis for doing this is data and the ability to make decisions of the basis of this data. And since this data to a large extent resides or is produced on audiometric equipment, it needs to be accessible and fully integrated with the application that is used to run the clinic.
In this perspective, audiometric equipment is not just audiometric equipment because it serves a purpose that is crucial to run your clinic effectively.
Take a closer look at our new eBook to learn more about the advantages of smarter and fully integrated smart audiometry and how it can trigger productivity gains in your clinic: