Best Practices for Positive Patient Outcomes with Captioned Phone Services
Many factors can arise when certifying a patient for a captioned telephone service. The patient-first ideology focuses on trust, respect for patients, shared decision making, sensitivity to patient needs, and always looking out for their best interest. In order to have a positive patient outcome, expectations must be met or exceeded.
When introducing patients to captioned phone service, focus on these subjects.
1. Improved Self Esteem
As you know, patients can often feel self-conscious about their hearing, especially those experiencing age-related hearing loss. It can be embarrassing to continually ask, “What did you say?” or “Can you repeat that?” What’s more, studies show a high number of older adults can take several years to admit they have difficulty hearing. And then there’s the bottom line: Hearing aids can be expensive and are often not covered by health insurance or Medicaid benefits. You may have some patients who say they “just can’t afford it right now.”
When that happens, captioned phones can be essential to providing your patients with help until they are ready for a hearing instrument. The equipment and service is available at no cost with your certification. Even home installation and training can often be available for free! That can be a big relief for many individuals and families on fixed incomes.
2. Increased Peace of Mind
Studies continually show that untreated hearing loss can cause fatigue and low energy. After all, straining to hear someone can be incredibly taxing – leaving the individual exhausted from all the extra mental work required throughout the day.
From talking to family and friends to interacting with others at work to simply trying to go out for a nice dinner, day-to-day activities can be severely affected. No wonder many people with untreated hearing loss avoid using the phone and communicating with others. According to a study from the Better Hearing Institute, the associated stress and social isolation from hearing loss can lead to depression.
Captioned phone service can help your patients with hearing loss enjoy increased peace of mind and reduced risk of hearing-related depression. Ask your patients if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle tension
3. Overall Empowerment
Every positive patient outcome begins with a correct and apt diagnosis. Adding captioned phone service is an excellent way to help them get the most out of their hearing aid device, because the real-time captioning can help them see what their hearing might still be missing. This can assist in the ongoing calibration of hearing aids, as patients who might otherwise think everything is fine will be alerted to certain situations where they might not be hearing as well as they had previously thought.
As you consider the unique situations and needs of your patients, remember that not all captioned phone providers are created equal.
- Look for captioned phone providers who offer a wide range of choice for their patients – including options for those with poor eyesight (low vision) or those who prefer traditional landline phones instead of the more prevalent touchscreen or Wi-Fi options.
- Ask how long the provider has been offering this service. What is their track record? Is in-home installation available? How easy is it to get in touch with customer service if your patient experiences a problem?
- Your patient should never be asked to sign a lease or pay additional fees later. Equipment and service is always available at no-cost with third-party certification, thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act and the FCC.
You may have chosen a career in audiology because of the big difference you can make in peoples’ lives. Positive patient outcomes depend on many factors. By adding captioned phone service to the mix, you can help your patients further empower themselves to maintain a high quality of life.
*This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.