Our Big Lessons Learned From COVID, And Our Long-Term Promise To You
When the world stopped last year, so too did many businesses.
If you’ve had a stroll around the area recently, you’ll have noticed that sadly, quite a lot of small businesses have shut down.
But, even though businesses ground to a halt, your hearing health needs did not. It was so important for us to ensure we were doing all we could to support you during that time.
That’s why, in this article, I want to share with you some of our biggest lessons from the pandemic and the steps we have taken to ensure that we can deliver on our long-term promises to you and the hundreds of local people that trust us for all their hearing healthcare needs.
The Lessons From The Pandemic
Hearing is essential. At the beginning of the pandemic, we considered whether we should remain open or close our doors. To be cautious, we sent most of our staff home, which meant we only had a skeleton crew in each office. We took great care to wear masks, sanitize all surfaces in the office between visits, etc. It’s fair to say no one knew much about the virus at that time, so we were all reacting with caution! The patients that did come into our office were so grateful that we were open to serve their needs. Without working hearing aids, they were struggling. If you can’t hear well, you can’t hear your doctor’s instructions, you can’t hear your spouse or loved ones clearly, and you can’t understand people when they speak behind masks. These people were struggling and needed our help. This confirmed to us that good hearing and hearing healthcare were essential.
Providing remote service to patients allowed us to take care of patients’ needs without needlessly exposing them to risk. During the pandemic, we became more effective at delivering care remotely. Of course, the very best experience still occurs when you can sit with your audiologist so that they can take measurements and make adjustments for you. We learned that it was easy to make telehealth visits to check in on people and answer their questions. Minor adjustments could be made remotely. It became a good way to stay in touch with people.
Community spirit is everything. It was great to see everyone, both patients and staff, pull together for a common purpose during the pandemic: Patients willingly locked down to protect the community, and staff were willing to go on furlough. Everyone understood that it was for the “greater good” of the community and that was just wonderful to witness.
In conclusion, the pandemic made our clinic here at Mission Audiology, and those who work here, stronger, and we’re now doubly confident that we can take on anything that’s thrown at us.
We’re More Prepared Than Ever
If COVID reemerges in the future and health authorities impose another lockdown, then we will operate as we did in the past. We will stay operational with reduced staff to serve our patients with hearing care needs.
We also would like to reassure patients of today and patients of tomorrow that the following will be in place for their safety:
- A hearing health hotline is available for all patients
- A home delivery service is possible for all supplies
- Remote care protocols to provide counseling and adjustments
- Masked curbside appointments to be available
- Utilization of technology to communicate (website and voicemail)
Looking At The Future & Our Promise To You
We’re not naïve to assume that everything will immediately go back to normal, but looking toward the future, there is certainly hope.
We now know how the virus works; we know what is effective and what is not. The virus has completed its second seasonal cycle and the vaccinations are proving to be effective.
For us at Mission Audiology, we are back to being fully staffed and fully open, and it is great to see our patients again.
There is pent-up demand for more hearing care, and new technology is available. Hearing instruments and ease of use are improving for everyone.
Also, it’s important to say that we empathize with those who still are cautious about risking exposure.
For reassurance, our audiologist has been trained to help patients using remote assistance technology. Of course, not everything can be done remotely, such as cleaning earwax, taking impressions for earmolds, and taking real ear measurements to verify the accuracy of the settings, etc., but if you feel more comfortable (and able) to access the remote features of your hearing aids through your cell phone or iPad, we can certainly assist you remotely.
For more hands-on things, we can do curb-side service with minimum exposure to others.
What a hopeful future, indeed!
Simply put, we are the most trusted audiology experts in our field here in Mission Viejo.
With this continued pursuit for better processes, and by making patient preferences a priority, we promise to be here for you for years to come.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your circumstances, then call us at (949) 207-7877.