In early April, shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of an urgent need to extend contactless to patients, ENT Hearing Associates of Florida, contracted with QM2 Solutions to provide an e-visit care option.
Dr. Patricia Ramos, the Director of ENT Hearing Associates of Florida, used QM2 Solution’s SEngage to remotely connect with hearing aid patients. Communications were delivered to active hearing aid wearers via e-mail and text message.
Within the first week, 146 patients initiated the HIPAA compliant, remote visit communications with the practice. The patient responses were prioritized and fit into the following categories:
- I’m fine, thanks for giving me a way to connect
- I need supplies or batteries
- My hearing aids seem broken
- I would like to buy new hearing aids
- I have an illness/condition requiring a physician evaluation.
Historically audiology has not been allowed to bill for e-visits under the CMS guidelines, however, the use of the patient-initiated, e-visit technology is proving to be very positive in expanding the practice’s ability to communicate, provide care, and drive excellent patient outcomes.
“The results of initiating e-visits are real. We are proving that we can improve hearing aid patient lives and can take care of them through virtual delivery channels”
–Dr. Patricia Ramos, Director of ENT Hearing Associates of Florida
ENT Hearing Associates of Florida continues to evaluate the results of the initial efforts and is developing plans for how to better implement virtual visits.
“In the last six weeks, clinics have rushed to address patient and business needs,” said James Benson, President and Founder of QM2 Solutions. “The new normal requires providers to focus on quality to thrive in the future by focusing on the right patient, the right intervention, at the right time, and now, the right communication channel,” Benson said.
In the spirit of community engagement and the sharing of best-practices, HHTM is interested in how other hearing care providers and persons with hearing loss are staying in contact via telehealth systems. Please email info @hearinghealthmatters.org, with “telehealth contact” in the subject line.