How can I integrate counseling tools into treatment discussions and provide resources to aid in the decision-making process with Ponto?
Patients can use the Ponto trial app on their phone. If they don't have a smartphone, Oticon Medical has a paper version called the Ponto Diary. It's a paper version to give them somewhere to record their observations. We want them to feel comfortable with the device. They're more likely to proceed if they're given this opportunity and have fewer concerns. Patients will also be more realistic about post-surgery.
Oticon Medical provides various printed materials, such as the counseling binder. This is a helpful desk resource that many clinicians love, and inside this counseling binder, it's a three-ring binder with nice laminated sheets that you can add to. Since it's a three-ring binder, you can pick and choose what you want to include. It has a wealth of information in there, just general counseling about how the brain and the ear works, types of hearing loss, looking at the audiogram and the speech banana, it talks about how bone-anchored systems work, what is a trial, it talks about surgery and soft bands. It also has communication strategies and different counseling tools—overall, an excellent desk guide to have as talking with your patients.
We've always had a Ponto trial companion app that was purely only for trial; recently, it has been updated to be called Ponto Care, and also includes an aftercare section. This tool gives them a place for notes. This is an excellent tool for you and your patients; it just becomes a little more applicable when we can't see our patients as often or get them in as quickly during these times when we still want to give them access to things like a trial.
Why is all of this counseling and trial necessary? Because we do have a higher dropout rate for bone-anchored candidates. Because it's a surgery, I like to say it's a procedure, so we'd eliminate that fear of surgery. It could also be because of cosmetics, or they don't think they will perceive enough benefit from it. So, what we found was that all patients said they would reconsider if they had more discussion or written information, and most importantly, a trial period. So, those who did proceed with a BAHS system, what helped make their decision, they said, again, discussion, written information, trial period, and then meeting other bone-anchored users. So, we're going to talk about the Oticon Medical toolbox that we have available for you that is invaluable for these patients because we have a variety of things available to you that don't have to be product-specific that you can use in counseling these patients. To facilitate that trial, we want to encourage users to get an authentic sound experience and trial it in different environments.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from The Ponto System: Assessing Candidacy & Completing Pre-operative Evaluation of Bone Anchored Hearing Systems. For more information, visit oticonmedical.com/us or visit Oticon Medical's Partner Page on AudiologyOnline.