Enhancing patient outcomes with hearing technology
Bruyère primarily serves older individuals (ages 70-79) where 93% experience hearing loss. Undiagnosed hearing loss is a ubiquitous issue that leads to serious social and health consequences for affected individuals.
Our team recognized that untreated hearing loss could be preventing patients from understanding and complying with medical direction provided by their health team, ultimately contributing to negative health outcomes and comorbidities.
Outcomes could be as severe as falls and other injuries, decreased quality of life, cognitive decline, or comorbid conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
We set out to understand how providing objective hearing screening upon admission could improve patient care and empower patients to address their hearing loss.
In response, we partnered with SHOEBOX Audiometry, a Canadian company in the heart of Ottawa, and piloted the SHOEBOX QuickTest to provide a simple, accurate, and objective hearing screening test that could be completed in less than two minutes.
Over a two month period, the SHOEBOX QuickTest was administered to new admissions on our Geriatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit, and an overwhelming 74 of 75 patients screened had ‘Reduced’ or ‘Very Reduced’ hearing in at least one ear.
The simple addition of a user-friendly digital health app has improved communication strategies between physicians and patients with hearing loss and is setting a new precedent for quality care in our patient population.
Bruyère has since scaled the SHOEBOX QuickTest to three unique clinical settings, with plans to complete over 1000 hearing screenings per year.
Seventy-five inpatients to the geriatric rehabilitation unit were screened in a SHOEBOX QuickTest pilot. Of those patients:
HAD REDUCED OR VERY REDUCED HEARING
HAD UNKNOWN HEARING LOSS
HAD VERY REDUCED HEARING
WERE SURPRISED BY THEIR RESULTS
INCREASE IN SHARING OUTCOMES WITH CARE TEAMS
INCREASE IN EARWAX CHECKS
NEW REFERRALS TO AUDIOLOGISTS
Canadian Airforce Veteran who hadn’t had a hearing assessment in 25 years since retiring
"I really like this test! It was easy to use, I didn’t have to wait long and my hearing results were right there."