About the Hearing Matters Podcast
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA.
A Message for Hearing Healthcare Practitioners
In this episode, Blaise Delfino discusses Audiology Services’ response and return strategy to COVID-19. He explains how he kept his team empowered and how he helped keep patients motivated and socially active during the pandemic. His message is directed to his colleagues in the field of hearing healthcare, who are fighting the good fight to continue to raise awareness of hearing healthcare, while consistently implementing best practices during the pandemic.
Responding to the Pandemic
Communicating with patients on a consistent basis is essential. When the practice was closed, Audiology Services used an email list to let patients know they could drop off hearing aids for service in the vestibule or pick up supplies there. They were updated regularly on the closure of the practice. As a leader of an organization, it is essential to keep team members and patients safe and motivated during this unprecedented time.
Returning to the Office
When the practice reopened, it was critical to ensure both patients and team members felt safe. To do that, Audiology Services only scheduled five to six patients a day, in order to allow extra time to disinfect between patients. While we were already disinfecting, we took added precautions in light of COVID-19.
When a patient came into the office, even for a clean and check, he/she was taken back to Blaise’s private office. This gave the patient a chance to converse. Most of the patients had been in seclusion and/or had limited socialization during the lockdown. By treating them like part of the family, they reconnected with the team and interacted again with people.
Keeping the Team Empowered
To help keep the team motivated, Audiology Services holds a morning huddle every day. By going over the list of patients for that day and looking a few days ahead, the team knows what to expect and exactly what his/her role will be. This helps everyone stay in synch.
Audiology Services continually celebrates the team as a whole and individuals with tokens of appreciation. This is a huge motivator. For example, thanking the team with a pizza party on a Friday afternoon, or presenting a small gift to an individual keeps people uplifted and positive. Also reminding the team members of the impact each of them has on the patients and the practice overall keeps them motivated.
Encouraging Colleagues to Continue the Fight
In spite of the many threats to the hearing healthcare industry as it is right now, we all need to soldier on. As hearing healthcare professionals, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to introduce people to a new world of hearing. Continue to love the process of meeting and counseling new patients, helping them navigate speech in noise and enhancing their lives. Even when the going gets tough, your team and your patients will lift you up.
Thank you for what you do.