Ida Institute in Naerum, Denmark has launched Ida Telecare, a suite of easy-to-use online tools and resources to help people with hearing loss prepare for appointments, successfully manage everyday communication, and make important decisions related to hearing.

Ida TelecareThe new online platform can be used to inform and engage both first-time and returning clients and ready them for an efficient session that allows more time for person-centered care, according to Ida Institute. Easily accessed tools and resources are intended to help clients identify communication needs and concerns important to them and empower them to self-manage their hearing loss. The goal with this program is that clients will be better equipped to make decisions that are right for them and will find the guidance and support they need throughout their hearing journey.

Ida Telecare is the first time that we have assembled proven Ida tools and strategies in an easy-to-access online platform to support hearing care professionals in extending person-centered care beyond the clinic,” said Ida Institute Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Ida Telecare creates multiple opportunities for hearing care professionals to individualize care pre- and post-appointments and build relationships and trust that enhance the therapeutic process long term.”

Ida TelecareThe new online platform addresses the three main phases of the client’s journey: preparation for first appointment, preparation for follow-up appointments, and everyday life with hearing loss. Hearing care professionals can direct clients with a link to the appropriate tool or phase via email, using Ida Telecare to confirm appointments or as a follow-up service to encourage clients to explore the platform resources on their own. Within each phase, there are online tools that clients can use to prepare for appointments or use as they learn to live well with their hearing loss

The Living Well online tool prepares people with hearing loss for more productive and focused first or follow-up appointments by encouraging them to think about their needs and concerns before they arrive for their appointment. Open-ended questions create frameworks that enable clients to form a concept of their hearing loss within a variety of relevant personal, lifestyle and work-related contexts.

The My Turn to Talk tool is completed in two parts.  In Part One, the Communication Rings give people with hearing loss a simple, visual way to prioritize the most important people with whom they communicate. Clients use web-based drag-and-drop technology that lets them drop communication partners into rings to indicate those who are “most important” and “very important” as well as those who are less important but present on a regular basis. Part Two helps clients prepare their thoughts, concerns and questions before meeting with a hearing care professional. Clients complete a series of prompts including “I’m happy about…” “I hope…” “I want to talk about…” and “I’m concerned about…” to help them organize their thoughts and ensure that their concerns are addressed during the appointment.

With this information, working in concert with their hearing care professional, clients and their communication partners (which may include spouses, children, employers and more) can begin mapping out communication strategies and shared goals.

Storytelling is another aspect of the online resources of Ida Telecare. Videos featuring personal experiences of people with hearing loss help to provide insight and inspiration for clients considering hearing care and hearing technology.

Notes and completed sessions can be downloaded and brought to the appointment or emailed in advance to assist the hearing care professional in preparing for their encounter.  This not only helps to ensure that each client’s individual needs and concerns are addressed, it also guides the hearing care professional in discussing possible options and making recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation.

“Research has consistently shown that people who self-manage their hearing loss experience greater satisfaction with hearing care and hearing technologies,” noted Bundesen.  “Ida Telecare can help to empower self-management and develop trust and long-term relationships between the client and the hearing care professional.”

The Ida Telecare online platform is freely shared for use by hearing care professionals and their clients at the Ida Institute website.

Source: Ida Institute