Dramatically Increase Your Bottom Line With Best Practice, Comprehensive Protocols Will Have a Dramatic Effect
By Geoffrey Cooling
If I told you that you could make 93% of your Patients happy with the benefit they get from their aids? Even better 96% of them to recommend you as a provider?Recently Gary Holland took myself and others through a presentation derived from MarkeTrak VIII. The comprehensive study pertaining to hearing aids in the states undertaken by Sergei Kochkin and his team. He focused on a small but exceptionally important part of the study for all of us in hearing healthcare. The part of the study focused on outcomes of hearing aid fittings when undertaken under a minimum and comprehensive protocol.
The variances are startling, in fact I am no exaggerating when I say this is probably the most significant data for any hearing healthcare professional. Particularly for all Independent Hearing Healthcare Practice owners who are looking for differentiation and to secure their business. In the study the definition of comprehensive protocols were as follows:
Hearing tested in sound booth
Probe microphone verification undertaken
Subjective benefit measures (COSI, APHAB etc)
Objective benefit measurements (speech testing before and after fitting)
Use of Patient satisfaction questionaires
Loudness tolerance measurement
Use of auditory training programme such as LACE
Aural rehabilitation training (group or individual
Comprehensive self help booklet
The results of the study were as follows:
|Minimal Protocol||Comprehensive Protocol|
|Would Recommend HA||46%||95%|
|Multi Enviroment Satisfaction||18%||85%|
|Would Repurchase Brand||13%||84%|
Hearing aid use
Lets take that line by line, the first line is actual hearing aid use after fitting, as you can see it improved after comprehensive protocols were adhered to. In real terms it means a reduction of hearing aid in drawers from 19% to 4%. That can not be bad for both our Practices and our Patients.
Patients were asked to to rate problem resolution in up to ten different listening situations. They were asked to only rate situations that were relevant to them. An overall reduction of issue was noted by the minimal group at 32% and the comprehensive group at 64%. So happier Patients, not the 100% we would like but a dramatic improvement nonetheless.
Would recommend hearing aids
This was a massive jump from 46% to 95% of Patients would recommend the use of a hearing aid to other people. Ask yourself, how many of your Patients are recommending the use of hearing aids?
This was a really interesting one, even though earlier we saw a 64% score in the handicap reduction question. Benefit satisfaction jumped from 18% to 93% in the comprehensive protocol group. This was based on satisfaction with the benefits of wearing hearing aids over not wearing them. When you realise that the numbers really outline where the two groups stand. In the minimal group only 18% feel that wearing a hearing aid is better than their living without. Thats pretty frightening, so lets say that again, 84% feel that going without a hearing aid would be just as good.
However when comprehensive protocols are followed 93% feel that wearing a hearing aid gives them benefit and satisfaction over not wearing one.
Would recommend provider
This people is the magic number for us, the percentage jumped from 29% to 96% who would recommend their provider. Imagine if 96% of your Patients were recommending you to other people. What do you think that would do to your bottom line?
Multi Environment Satisfaction
The groups were asked to choose from 19 listening situations which were important to them and where they satisfied or very satisfied. The very satisfied group jumped from 18% to 85% when comprehensive protocols were used.
Would purchase brand again
Patients were asked if they would consider repurchasing the same brand of hearing instruments again. The number again shot up from 18% to 84% in the comprehensive group.
The figures are pretty clear cut, they are the best argument yet for the use of current audiological practices in your Practice. As we have seen in my last post, Independent Hearing Healthcare Service Levels, AQP providers will and are changing the expectations of our Patients. You can not afford to ignore best Practice and judging by the study introduction of best practice to your Practice will dramatically affect your bottom line. Securing, consolidating and growing your business into the future.
More very good reasons for re-defining excellence in profesional practices.
The more influencers who reiterate this and similar messages, the better!
I think that if the study evidence holds true, it is a no brainer to introduce the more comprehensive protocols. It also makes complete sense when you realise that your competitors already are.
I don’t understand practitioners who aren’t willing to follow best practice principals like the ones you posted here, Geoffrey, when so much research points to the success that it creates. A small additional investment in time leads to huge returns with patient loyalty and referrals–why cut corners?
I think it’s a combination of factors, humans tend to be inherently lazy. There is also an element of if its not broke don’t fix it.
Change is never easy, even when you know it is needed. You need real impetus to change, but I think that impetus is gathering pace within our industry.