The staff at audiology chain Triton Hearing in New Zealand uses advanced communications technology to bring clinicians and clients closer together with the world’s first TeleAudiology hearing care service.
New Zealand audiology chain Triton Hearing introduced uses TeleAudiology to provide more New Zealanders with easy and affordable access to professional advice about their hearing.
Making quality hearing care accessible
By connecting specialists with clients using advanced communications technology, the cost and ease of access to audiologists is reduced significantly.
While it has 65 clinics across the country, Triton Hearing recognises that seeing an audiologist can still be difficult for some New Zealanders, particularly the elderly says the company’s Managing Director, James Whittaker.
“With Triton Hearing Teleaudiology, the challenge of distance is eliminated. Communication technology enables remote consultations and the delivery of audiological services even if the client and audiologist are hundreds of kilometers apart.”
Teleservice consistent with face-to-face service
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the New Zealand Audiology Society and Australian Audiology have endorsed telepractice as an appropriate model of service delivery for the audiology profession. Further, the quality of services delivered via telepractice are consistent with the quality of services delivered face-to-face. The New Zealand Ministry of Health, who recently viewed Triton Hearing’s Teleaudiology service, supports Telehealth providing access to health information, advice and support from trained health professionals, using a range of communication channels so people can receive the right care at the right time and in the right place1.
First in New Zealand with teleservice technology
The introduction of the technology in New Zealand last year was a world first, Whittaker adds, because it combines multiple innovations to create a unique teleaudiology model which fully adheres to the New Zealand Audiological Society Best Practice Guidelines, including all provisions for room and equipment calibrations. “That means we provide a full diagnostic assessment, hearing and communication needs assessments, impression taking, hearing aid fitting and verification, purchase and full follow-up services through a synchronous, live connection.”
High-definition teleconferencing system delivers exceptional client experience
Craig Lett, Triton Hearing’s Clinical Development Manager, who developed on the service over 18 months, explains that the client, audiologist, and ear nurse communicate through a high-definition teleconferencing system.
“The audiologist works from a dedicated teleconferencing room, while the client visits their local clinic with a registered Ear Nurse who has additional training as a Triton hearing Teleaudiology Clinical Assistant,” he says.
“The audiologist has full remote control of the audiological equipment at the host site, while the client, audiologist and ear nurse are in constant visual and audio contact. The ear nurse provides the in-room support including performing video otoscopy, positioning transducers, handling hearing aids, and ensuring patient comfort and safety,” says Lett. “And, we’ve worked hard to ensure the client experience is exceptional and equal to that of a face to face consultation.”
Full range of audiological services - anywhere
With the Triton TeleAudiology service introduced to connect Auckland-based audiologists with clients in Timaru, the potential to offer full audiological services anywhere is demonstrated. “We want to be able to go to places we can’t usually get to, to ensure everyone has access to our full range of hearing services. Teleaudiology will enable all New Zealanders to experience a full life, connecting with friends, family and the wider community and to not be limited by hearing loss,” says Whittaker.
“The health system faces real challenges with an aging population facing increasingly complex health concerns. Teleaudiology, thoughtfully applied to professional clinical consultations, will enable the delivery of better, more cost effective audiological health services to all,” he concludes.
About Triton Hearing
Triton Hearing is at the forefront of delivering innovative hearing solutions first to New Zealanders as well as providing expert advice as New Zealand’s only Consumer NZ Trusted Hearing Company.
1. (New Zealand Audiology Society, 2015; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2005).
(Ferrari & Bernardez-Braga, 2009; Krumm, Ribera, & Klich, 2007; Patricoski, et al., 2003; Swanepoel, Koekemoer, & Clark, 2010) Ministry of Health National Telehealth Service, www.health.govt.nz/our-work/national-telehealth-service.