How can evidence-based practices/protocols ensure a consistent standard of care as clinical care evolves?
There have been dramatic changes to cochlear implants and the way professionals deliver care over the past 30 years including shorter programming times, accessory and telephone counseling and hearing in-noise assessments, which represent the bulk of the typical 90-120-minute activation appointment.1,2,3
The ability to provide care has evolved with other technologies such as the internet, wireless connectivity, mobile phones, and the “cloud.” Likewise, the inclusion of innovative tools in Cochlear’s portfolio, such as myCochlear, Hear Always, Remote Check, Cochlear Link, and SignHEAR, combined with changes to indications and outcomes, can assist clinicians in providing care in different ways throughout the patient’s hearing journey. The next step in increasing CI access is to consider how the effective use of technology can supplement care based on the needs of adult CI patients within a changing healthcare landscape.
There is a growing need for care. As incidences of hearing loss increase, many clinics must see a growing number of patients in a shorter amount of time, while maintaining the same staff headcount. This, on top of a changing healthcare landscape and recent global pandemic, has made treating hearing health more complex and has placed a further burden on healthcare facilities today. It has also shed light on additional opportunities to partner with professionals, to develop and refine guidelines to help support clinic efficiency, reduce clinic burden for non-billable time and continue to work to improve patient hearing outcomes and satisfaction.
One of the ways healthcare professionals across a variety of modalities have addressed these challenges is by applying an evidence-based approach to their practice. By using a shared combination of clinical expertise, patient values/expectations and data/evidence to help guide clinical decision-making, the audiology community can re-shape aspects of the adult cochlear implant delivery care model. Data collection and analysis can be used to determine what aspects of the delivery model can potentially be modified.
As a result of new technologies, the CI industry now has access to a wealth of additional data that was previously inaccessible, which can be used to create guidelines, tools, services, and products based on evidence. An evidence-based practice and a guided protocol can help determine if the recipient is meeting the minimum key hearing and satisfaction milestones during the first year of CI use and the integration of self-administered and remote care tools, services, and products can reduce the support burden on the clinic and empower the patient. This consistency could ultimately improve clinic efficiency, reduce the clinic burden, improve patient outcomes, and hearing satisfaction of patients.
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1. Cochlear Implant Fitting: Current Practice in Adults 2018. Data on file at Cochlear Americas.
2. Fuel Medical: Current CI Practice clinic observations 2017. Data on file at Cochlear Americas.
3. Camille Dunn, University of Iowa presentation, Proceeding from ACIA 2017.
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This content is meant for professional use. If you are a consumer, please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information. Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.