When Season 3 came to an end, the point was made that sometimes the success of a fitting, especially for new users, comes down to getting the details right. Sometimes it is the details of the fitting, but also sometimes it is the details of patient counseling. In this season, will we discuss the best ideas that we have generated as a company to maximize the opportunity for success. We all fall into habits, but sometimes there is value in stepping back and taking a fresh look.
Episode 1: Getting Off on the Right Foot: At the end of Season 2, we talked about the difference between the Fitting Session and the Fitting. For most new hearing aid users, the loss develops over a number of years. Becoming a successful hearing aid user is not an instantaneous transformation.
Episode 2: Gathering the Right Kind of Information: Although it seems self-evident, before you can solve a patient’s problems, you need to understand them. The ability of the patient to verbalize their observations sometimes can be tricky.
Episode 3: Setting Expectations: Despite the widespread surfing behavior on the part of new users, patients and family members can often have expectations that do not always align with what will likely actually happen. We have some ideas that may help.
Episode 4: X’s and O’s: Despite great strides in digital signal processing, there are still some basic physical and acoustical factors that simply have to be done the right way. A great fitting can go awry if some simple basic techniques are not addressed.
Episode 5: Let’s Talk About Targets: Targets are a great place to start a fitting. But perhaps too often hitting targets are seen as the end goal of a fitting. And that belief is not consistent with what we know about human perception in the presence of hearing loss.
Episode 6: Programs, Programs, Programs: There was once a time when loading up the hearing aid with multiple programs was an important new development. But the ability of adaptive signal processing has made that approach unnecessary except in certain situations.
Episode 7: The Personal Response to Sound: Modern hearing aids allow for modifications on a multitude of dimensions. Finding the right match between device flexibility and patient needs or preferences requires a high level of insight on the part of the HCP.
Episode 8: Reports versus Problems: Most patients finally get over their resistance and take the step into the world of hearing aids based on some specific difficulties that they face. In follow-up, it becomes important to make sure the discussions focus on the specific needs that make the most difference to the patient.
Episode 9: What to Adjust?: As hearing aid technology has developed, so has our understanding about which adjustments make the most difference to patient perception. Fine tuning strategies that made sense 15 or 20 years ago may need to be refreshed.
Episode 10: Meeting in the Middles*: Getting a fitting right means balancing factors along a multitude of dimensions. Some of the concerns stem from the HCPs desire to meet certain audiological standards. But the patient’s agenda may be different. At the end of the day, the goal is the same: to allow the patient to be a successful hearing aid user.
Course created on August 5, 2019
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Don Schum, PhD
Vice President for Audiology & Professional Relations
Don Schum currently serves as Vice President for Audiology & Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc. In that capacity, Don has the responsibility to create and implement new Audiological training material, oversee the Audiological training of all employees, develop dispenser support materials and tools, conduct clinical research, and participate in national and international conferences. Previous to his position at Oticon in Somerset, Don served as the Director of Audiology for the main Oticon office in Copenhagen Denmark. In addition, he served as the Director of the Hearing Aid Lab at the University of Iowa School of Medicine (1990-1995) and as an Assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (1988-1990). During his professional career, Don has been an active researcher in the areas of Hearing Aids, Speech Understanding, and Aging. Don received his B.S. in Speech & Hearing Science from the University of Illinois, his M.A. in Audiology from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. in Audiology from Louisiana State University.
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