Audiology team embracing digital – Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A digital pathway recently introduced in the Trust is having a positive impact on Tinnitus patients.

The Audiology team at the Freeman developed the process in partnership with Health Call before it was implemented in September 2021.

It involves asking new patients who have been referred to the clinic to complete an electronic questionnaire to allow staff to assess the level of support they need.

Claire Seago, Hearing Therapy Clinical Lead, explained: “Once a new patient has completed the digital questionnaire we can assess their score and triage them appropriately.

“This helps us make better use of our clinical time and we are now getting a lot fewer DNAs (did not attends).

“Most patients have been very positive about the digital pathway as it has helped really speed up the process and get important information to them to help them manage their condition better.”

Claire said a lot of hard work went into developing the new pathway and even involved the team creating a three-metre long picture on the wall to work out how the pathway would fit together.

She added: “At one point we were all lying on the floor drawing up how the process would work but it was very rewarding and the end result has been very positive.

“The next step is to get a formal patient feedback process in place, then try and introduce a similar digital pathway with patients in GP practices as the first point of contact.

“Having gone through this experience it has also made us think about our other processes more, for example how we do hearing assessments and how we can look at digital options for those wearing hearing aids.

“We have well and truly embraced digital in Audiology!”

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