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Phonak Marvel 2.0 - September 2019

What are Some Tips to Having a Successful Phonak Remote Support Session?

Michael Blackburn, AuD

May 27, 2020

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Question

What are some tips to having a successful Phonak Remote Support session?

Answer

Venturing into telehealth, or eAudiology, might seem like a daunting task. However, it is fairly easy to provide your patients with remote hearing care. Here are three tips to get you started with Phonak Remote Support. 

  1. Practice, practice, practice! Becoming familiar with Remote Support will make you feel more confident and ready to handle questions from your patients. So, grab a colleague (virtually, of course) and try out Remote Support between the two of you. Make sure to try it multiple times to get a feel for how the process works. 
  2. Smile, you’re on camera! Have you thought about how you and your surroundings will look to your patient? While you are practicing with Remote Support, take a few minutes to think about the following:
    1. Positioning
      1. Make sure your face is centered so it is not blocked by the self-view the patient sees.
      2. Put your camera on top of your monitor so you are looking straight ahead and not down.
      3. Double and triple check your background! A distracting background will interfere with communication.
    2. Lighting
      1. A well-lit room with multiple light sources is going to be ideal. If there is a single light source in the room, like a window or standing lamp, make sure it is behind the camera. A window or light behind you (or in front of the camera) will cast a shadow, making it difficult for the patient to see your face. Adjusting your surroundings will make your face and those all-important visual cues easier to see for your patient.
    3. Sound
      1. As hearing care providers, we know well that communication is easiest in a quiet environment. Think about your environmental sounds and reduce them as much as possible. A headset with a microphone will provide your patient with a much better sound quality and less environmental noise than the one built into your laptop or camera.
    4. Engagement
      1. When speaking, look at your camera lens! Our natural tendency is to look at the patient during a video chat, but to them, it seems like you are not making eye contact. If you stare directly at the lens, it will appear to the patient that you are fully engaged with the conversation. It’s okay to break eye contact with the camera occasionally, but when they are talking or you are talking, it’s best to maintain that engagement as much as possible.
  3. Remember it’s all about the patient’s experience! The goal is always the highest-quality hearing care we can provide. eAudiology is a great way to keep your patients safe, but it’s also a convenient option, both now and in the future. 

Want to learn more about eAudiology best practices? Click here for some additional guidance.


michael blackburn

Michael Blackburn, AuD

Michael is the Senior eSolutions Manager at Phonak since March 2020. While he has just recently joined the Phonak team, he comes with a wealth of experience leading teleaudiology initiatives within the Department of Veterans Affairs. For 3 years, Michael served as the teleaudiology and vestibular diagnostic leads in St. Cloud, MN. Prior to that he was a clinical audiologist at a large medical center in Peoria, IL, providing hearing aids, cochlear implants and dizziness services for pediatric to geriatric patients. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders from Northern Illinois University and his Doctor of Audiology from Northwestern University.


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