How to Select the Best Hearing Instrument specialist
A good hearing instrument specialist (HIS) can be invaluable to anyone who is experiencing an issue with their hearing health. The best professionals will be able to discuss your requirements and find solutions that are compatible with your preferences and lifestyle. What’s more, their expertise also means you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your hearing health is in the best possible hands and that any questions you have will be answered – making the treatment process as straightforward as it can be.
If you’re currently in the process of selecting a new HIS and what to ensure you find the best possible provider, here’s what you’ll need to keep in mind:
Seek recommendations and advice
When deciding which hearing instrument specialist you may want to visit, recommendations can really help you focus on those that have earned a great reputation. Here are a few different sources of recommendations that you may want to consider:
- Insurance companies do not always cover the cost of hearing aids, though they may provide coverage for tests, so call and ask if your policy offers any provision for this. If it does, your insurer will be able to provide a list of practices for you to further research.
- If you know anyone who has hearing loss, then ask if they have recommendations for a particular practice or individual specialist. You can also ask online forums or social media groups for recommendations, with those that are focused on your local area particularly useful in this regard.
- You can also ask your primary care physician if they have any recommendations for hearing specialists; this step is particularly beneficial as your physician can make a recommendation with your specific hearing-related care requirements in mind.
Conduct in-depth research
When you have received recommendations for a HIS, you will then need to undertake your own research, focusing on the following areas:
- Online reviews can be a great way of getting an idea of what the patient experience at a particular clinic is like, so Google the practice and read through the reviews that you find; you can often find reviews directly on the Google results page itself, or by clicking through to dedicated review sites. You can also check social media accounts for the practice – Facebook is particularly handy in this regard – if you’re in need of more information.
- As well as searching for third-party opinions, it’s also worth checking the practice’s own website; good practices will provide a substantial amount of information, such as an overview of services and information about the qualifications of the hearing instrument specialists who work at the practice.
- While it may not always be possible, some practices will allow you to speak with one of the specialists before you arrange an appointment. If a practice you are considering does allow this, then such a call can be very helpful and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
Consider the practice itself
The HIS you choose will operate from a practice, so focusing on how the office operates and how it may influence your usage of their service can shape your decision as to whether you should schedule an appointment. Here’s what you need to look out for:
- Wherever possible, choose a practice that is easy to access from your home, work or school. Not only do you need to be able to conveniently attend initial appointments, but you may also need to visit in order to have your hearing aids repaired, so you need to be sure the journey is not too arduous.
- Call the practice and ask about their standard way of handling appointments, follow-up appointments, treatment plans and services such as hearing aid repairs. This should give you a more rounded idea of how their service operates, so you can make sure it aligns with your requirements.
- Lastly, if you have gone through everything we have discussed thus far and are happy with all you have discovered, take the time to visit the practice before arranging an appointment. This gives you the chance to check how convenient parking is, or where the nearest public transport access is, in order to assess how easy the practice is for you to visit. You can also look at the waiting area and walkways to make sure they will be comfortable to manage.
The tips above should help you to select the best hearing instrument specialist you can, so you can enjoy the benefits of feeling that all of your hearing health needs will be met for many years to come.