Interview with Carol Meyers, Au.D., Educational Specialist, Siemens Hearing Instruments
Topic: Expert e-Seminar Series from Siemens Featuring Catherine Palmer, Susan Scollie, Michael Valente, Kristi Oeding & Robyn Cox
CAROLYN SMAKA: This is Carolyn Smaka from AudiologyOnline, and I'm speaking with Carol Meyers from Siemens. Carol, thank you for your time today.
CAROL MEYERS: Thank you Carolyn.
SMAKA: Before we get into the Expert Series, can you talk about your background and your role at Siemens?
MEYERS: Sure - I worked clinically as an audiologist for 25 plus years before joining Siemens Hearing Instruments. My role at Siemens is as an Educational Specialist. I provide education on Siemens products, software and services to both our staff and our customers. One of my responsibilities includes coordinating our learning opportunities at AudiologyOnline.
SMAKA: Thanks. Tell me about this Expert Seminar Series from Siemens that you've put together in your AudiologyOnline classroom. How did this idea come about? It looks like an amazing line up of presenters and topics.
MEYERS: I would agree with you, I think it is an amazing series.
The idea for the Expert Series started back in 2009. At that time, we had a series of four webinars on AudiologyOnline that were conducted by Dr. Gus Mueller. He gave a two part presentation about what pre-tests can be used before the hearing aid fitting entitled, "What Pre-Tests Provide Bang for the Buck (Part 1 & Part 2)", and a two part presentation entitled, "How Loud is Too Loud? (Part 1 & Part 2)" about using loudness discomfort (LDL) measures for hearing aid fittings and verification.
These seminars were very popular and we received a lot of great feedback from professionals. So, our training team wanted to see how we could expand the series. We sat down with Dr. Mueller as well as our senior managers Angela Flores and Gus Hernandez, and that's how the idea for this series was born.
We contacted a number of leading independent researches in audiology;specifically those that could discuss amplification. And we were thrilled to receive commitments from Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., Michael Valente, Ph.D., Susan Scollie, Ph.D. and Robyn Cox, Ph.D., to present webinars on various aspects of the hearing aid selection and fitting process as part of this series.
SMAKA: What specific topics regarding the hearing aid selection and fitting process will be covered?
MEYERS: Dr. Palmer's presentation kicked off the series, and her course is now available as a recorded course in our AudiologyOnline library. It is entitled "Issues in Pediatric Amplification - Signal Processing and Feature Selection". Like the title implies, the topic was hearing aid feature considerations that you need to take into account when selecting and fitting hearing aids for children. It was really an excellent webinar because Dr. Palmer not only shared her expertise about pediatric hearing aid fittings but she provided the information in a manner where the information could be put right into practice. As I was listening to her presentation that day, it struck me that even though she was discussing issues in pediatric amplification she had many points relevant for adult fittings as well. For example, one of the take-away points she made was that it's important to take a look at the software default settings and ascertain whether the features really are appropriate for the individual fitting that you're performing. That was the first topic covered in the series.
On May 18th, Dr. Valente and Kristi Oeding will be discussing using evidence-based principles to make decisions about amplification. They're going to attack this concept by demonstrating the results of a literature-based Web search, conducting an appraisal of this literature, and then determining how to implement the information into audiology treatment with patients.
SMAKA: Those both sound like important and useful topics.
MEYERS: I agree. The next topic in the series will also be presented by Dr. Palmer, and it's coming up in June. It's entitled, "Efficacy of Auditory Training - a Systematic Review." She'll review the effectiveness of auditory training, and consider research that was initially published in 2005 and has since been updated. She will make recommendations based upon the current evidence related to auditory training.
In July, Dr. Susan Scollie will discuss using the DSL prescriptive formula for adult fittings. As you know, the DSL prescription was originally developed for use with children. Historically it used more gain than prescriptions developed for use with adults. Dr. Scollie will show how the targets vary for children versus adults in the latest DSL prescription. She'll also discuss the evidence and protocols that align for creating a beneficial yet comfortable fitting.
SMAKA: I like the title, "Fitting Adults with a Broad Audible Bandwidth Using DSL: No, it isn't too loud" because in the past I have heard audiologists say that DSL is too loud for their adult patients. So it sounds like Dr. Scollie, who is one of the developers of the DSL, is going to address that question head-on looking at the current research with the latest version of DSL.
MEYERS: Correct. I think it's important for us to take a look at the latest information and see that this fitting strategy can be used not only with children but with adults, too.
SMAKA: You mentioned Robyn Cox will also be presenting in this series. What is the topic of her presentation?
MEYERS: Dr. Cox's presentation is entitled "Loudness and Satisfaction with Hearing Aids - An Update". As Dr. Mueller's LDL courses addressed, getting loudness right is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of a successful hearing aid fitting. Dr. Cox will take a look at the issue of loudness tolerance and then discuss how we can optimize patient satisfaction by best addressing the issue.
SMAKA: It's still such an important issue, despite all the advancements in technology.
MEYERS: Very true - and if you remember this issue was addressed by Dr. Mueller in our earlier series. I think professionals will find if they watch this series that these leading researchers are taking the wealth of data and information out there on important issues, condensing it down for us into an hour, and making it manageable and relevant to clinical practice.
Which brings us back to why is Siemens sponsoring this series? It relates to our three core values at Siemens: innovation, excellence and responsibility. We're certainly known for innovations in products and services. And we practice excellence through engineering quality solutions. But we also feel it's our responsibility to make sure that those who are utilizing our products are educated. By educated, I mean not only on our products but also in areas that will contribute to their own professional knowledge and to the development of their professional skills. Ultimately, this results in providing the best care for individuals with hearing loss. That was an important consideration for us in bringing forth this Expert Series.
This series is also a way for us to provide a venue for researchers to share their knowledge with professionals in clinical practice around the world. The great thing about these seminars is that one doesn't need to leave their office. The information is accessible anytime in a one hour format. By attending the live seminar, participants can interact with the presenter, or they can view the recorded course 24/7 at their own convenience. We are providing the opportunity to learn from the leading experts to the many people around the world who may not otherwise have access to this great information.
SMAKA: I should also mention that all the courses are CE eligible for CEU Total Access members of AudiologyOnline.
Carol, it's wonderful that Siemens has brought these experts on and we're really happy to provide the platform. Thanks for all your efforts in bringing forth these great learning opportunities.
MEYERS: Thank you very much.
SMAKA: To register to view the courses in Siemens Expert Series, please visit the Siemens eLearning Library on AudiologyOnline.
About Siemens Healthcare
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source - from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion Euros and profit of around 750 million Euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare or the Siemens web channel on AudiologyOnline.