Do you track your patient encounters? How do you measure success? If we look at the latest research from the Better Hearing Institute patients are more satisfied with fewer visits with a structured follow up that includes verification and validation. There was an article by Sergei Kochkin ( http://www.betterhearing.org/pdfs/M8_Verification_Validation_Study.pdf) in The Hearing Review recently to support this.
In our offices we wait to do Real Ear verification until about the 3rd visit, earlier if there are fitting issues on adults, on children we do it on the first visit. We wait a bit on adults to make sure we have the settings that are working for the patient. I know there are many who would argue about the timing and I welcome the dialog, this is what works for us. For children we may do REM numerous times. We also do a loose COSI. I say loose because sometimes we write the information on the side of the case history and follow up in notes. We do try to put a COSI in the initial paperwork with the first appointment, but for some reason this gets dropped quite often and we have to pick the procedure up again.
It is easier to count the appointments than in years past with our electronic database. I have been working in an electronic database for over 15 years, but early on we still had to go back and count the appointments. Now it is a few key strokes to come up with a report you would like.
We track return for credit and exchange and both are under the industry standard. But mostly we are watching if our patients and other health professionals refer to us. That is a very good positive sign of satisfaction. Between my two offices there is definitely a difference between the referrals and we all as a team are looking into why. This will be another blog down the road!
So what are you doing besides, “how does this sound?” I tell my patients I can give them benefit from a tin can, but satisfaction comes from a variety of places. The journey after the fitting starts with verification and validation.