Last week’s blog talked about the many benefits of using assistants in a practice. I know some of you think that using an assistant probably isn’t realistic for you. Let me try to convince you otherwise. Some of you may think it’s illegal in your state if you are an audiologist. More than half of all states allow for the use of an audiology assistant.
Go to https://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/ and check out the specifics of your state licensure law. If you are an audiologist and your state won’t allow the use of an assistant, consider partnering with a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). HIS and audiologists work side by side in 25% of hearing healthcare practices today.
Think of the things you do each day that don’t require your education and expertise.
A patient walks in while you are testing a new patient and is having difficulty pairing their phone to their aids. What do you do? Stop and help? I hope not since the scheduled new patient won’t be too happy about waiting. Or, a long time patient stops in because their hearing aid isn’t working. You evaluate the aid and find out it’s just a blocked wax guard. Do YOU really need to handle wax guards or can you train someone with lesser expertise to handle such a simple task? Consider the many tasks involved in fitting a patient who is getting hearing aids for the first time. Think of the time involved for orientation, performing outcome measures, pairing to a smart phone and perhaps teaching the patient how to use their new accessories. Unfortunately, many people skip the outcome measures which can be a critical error in the patient gaining the greatest benefit from their technology.
Wouldn’t it be nice to short that time for the fitting in half and let an assistant do the orientation, pairing and explaining the accessory? Think how much more productive you could be if you didn’t have to do Everything.
The concept of using assistants has been endorsed by every professional organization for the past forty years. I have used assistants in my practice for over thirty years and they have been instrumental in my success and are a big part of patient satisfaction.
Sometimes, change is necessary.
I hear colleagues complaining about how overwhelmed they are seeing patients and trying to run the business. One actually shared that she didn’t have time to pay her bills. Yikes!! Don’t fight it! Embrace the concept of using an assistant to complete the tasks that don’t require your time and spend your time generating revenue and solving the big problems.
SAPPHIRE SOCIETY MEMBERS: I have served on several task forces and have great resources on this topic in the Sapphire area. If you need job descriptions, training guides, salary specifications, KPIS, let me know.
If you are not a member of this exclusive society, please join today. Only $99 a year!