The practising of Audiology during the COVID epidemic has required us to rethink how we help patients
This is particularly the case for those who are at the highest risk of suffering COVID morbidity where a “no touch” policy for clinicians is typically enforced. Fortunately, Audiology is a technology driven discipline and as a result the profession has been quick to adapt to these challenges. At the Tinnitus Clinic we have implemented a new infection control policy for COVID which not only involves increasing the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) but also has involved utilising remote review and device control methods.
We are now able to control and program a range of tinnitus therapy systems remotely by utilising contemporary mobile phone/tablet Bluetooth radios. This has resulted in patients who do not want to attend clinic for tuning of their devices being able to receive the same level of care and expertise from the comfort of their homes.
These consultations are, typically, carried out via a remote video link so that patients are able to speak with their clinicians, in real time, as changes are made to their prescriptions. This has been a very successful method resulting in a level of patient care that is the same as that received in clinic. This method of working has also meant that patients who are less likely to travel to the UK from abroad have the option to complete their follow up appointments without having long-distance travel.
The Tinnitus Clinic is dedicated to serving the needs of our patients and, as such, will always be at the forefront of technological implementation and adaption to ensure that our patients are able to receive the care that they require even in these challenging times.