Hearing aid verification: Is it right for your clinic?
Often considered unnecessary or too time-consuming, many hearing care professionals are now making hearing aid verification using REM a standard part of their services. Helena M. Henriksen from Furesø Hearing Clinic in Farum, Denmark is one example.
Read what motivates audiologist and hearing care business owner Helena M. Henriksen to incorporate hearing aid verification with AURICAL® in her new clinic.
Helena Henriksen and husband Martin Henriksen have been the successful owners of Furesø Hearing Center since 2011. Located in the tiny village of Kirke Værløse, approximately 20 kilometers (13 miles) north of Copenhagen, Helena and Martin take pride in offering their hearing care customers quality hearing aid selection, fitting and personal service.
Time for customers – a conscious choiceHelena has been working with hearing care since 2001. After completing her education as an audiologist and working several years in a hearing aid chain, Helena knew exactly the kind of service she wanted to provide for people with hearing loss.
“My experience working in a large hearing aid dispensing chain where there was limited time between each appointment and no time for dialogue with customers is the reason why we have the business concept we have today,” says Helena. “During those early years, I learned how to make the most of my time and for that I am grateful. However, I also learned that it may be okay for others but it wasn’t the way I wanted to work going forward.”
From the very beginning, Helena and Martin have focused on delivering quality and making time for their customers. Their goal is to do and offer the best for their customers. Often the first visit can take up between 1-1/2 to two hours. These visits are important to set expecations, select the right hearing aid and help customers understand how to use their hearing aid.
“We live by selling hearing aids,” says Helena. “We want to be able to meet our customers on the street or at the grocery store and be able to look them in the eye knowing we have done our best to help them. So we consider the time we spend with our customers and their family as an investment in our business and our future.”
The strategic focus on quality and a customer-centric approach to their business includes offering a wide range of hearing aid brands from the leading manufacturers and working with the best audiology technology available.
“Buying a hearing aid is not like buying a product,” says Helena. “You are buying a process and it doesn’t end when you have your hearing aid. Just like a dentist, we schedule yearly check-ups with our customers because the ability to hear is constantly changing and needs to be monitored after you have your hearing aid and in the years to come.”
Their strategy is working. Over the last three years, Helena and Martin have seen a steady rise in the number of new customers – most of them coming from word-of-mouth recommendations from other customers. Now, after five years, Helena and Martin are ready to open their second hearing care shop in Farum, a town not so far from their first shop. They will expand their staff with one new clinician to help greet and serve the new customers. They have also made an investment in new audiology equipment that includes REM verification.
Hearing aid verification is quality assuranceHelena has always delivered insitu audiometry using Sensogram, Oticon, Sivantos and others as part of her fitting process and yearly check with her customers. Both Helena and her customers have been satisfied with the results. Recently, Helena decided it was time to incorporate real ear measurements (REM) into her practice as an extra quality assurance for hearing aid fittings.
“I understand that REM helps to reduce the amount of follow-up visits to adjust the hearing aid,” says Helena. “However, the fact is, I have very few post-fitting adjustments. My customers are very satisfied. Doing REM is for me. It enables me to validate my measurements. Now I can document the quality I deliver to my customers. REM assures me that the measurements I have made are 100% correct, and that’s a great feeling.”
In addition, Helena offers her customers a wide range of hearing aids from different manufacturers and performing REM helps to ensure accuracy for each individual and across hearing aid manufacturers.
REM as part of the new clinic
Helena and Henrik will incorporate REM as part of their new clinic in Farum and intend to use it on most of their customers. They are looking forward to the benefits of being able to use and show the measurement data as part of their counseling with customers – on one screen. In addition, they have invested in new audiology equipment, including the modular fitting system AURICAL® from Otometrics.
“There were many solutions available that could do REM,” says Helena. “I choose AURICAL because of the design and mostly for the support I feel I am getting. It’s important for me to know that there is a dedicated team behind me ready to help me if I need it because I can’t afford to keep my customers waiting.”
It won’t be long before the new clinic opens and Helena is making plans to train her new employee in how to use AURICAL.
“I am really looking forward to getting started with REM and using the new fitting system,” says Helena. “Our next step is to learn how to use it and how to get the most from it. I can’t wait to get started!”