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Pacific Northwest Audiology Sponsors Another Hearing Aid Luncheon in Bend Oregon

Pacific Northwest Audiology had a another successful “Dine and Demo” luncheon at Gregg’s Grill in Bend Oregon on October 26, co-hosted by Unitron. 

So, what is a Dine and Demo Luncheon? Simply put, it’s an opportunity for guests to sample the latest hearing enhancement technology in a real world environment over lunch. 

Greggs GrilThis event was NOT designed to meet a sales quota. Guests learned important facts about hearing loss while sampling the advantages of new hearing technology…hearing aids that push the limits of hearing!

Dine and Demo luncheons are limited to only 14 invited guests. The event was designed to be relatively small, informative, and friendly, a learning environment that allowed each guest to evaluate new hearing solutions with no outside stresses or obligations. 

For those selected to participate in the event we tested their hearing (or used their latest hearing test of record) and then fitted them with personally customized Flex:Trial hearing aids, diagnostic instruments that can be programed to different technology levels to suit the needs of individual patients. Flex:Trial hearing aids are particularly well suited for increased sound clarity in otherwise noisy environments like a busy restaurant, so our guests were able to verify the technology claims…which they did!

The picture (below) shows Dr. Li (Pacific Northwest Audiology, bottom panels) and Felipe Ovando (Unitron, top panel) discussing new technology to alleviate hearing loss while enhancing hearing and communication. The middle two panels show Dr. Odgear and Grace Gardner (both from Pacific Northwest Audiology) answering general questions from our guests. Grace is completing her externship with Pacific Northwest Audiology prior to becoming a full-fledged Doctor of Audiology.

Collage graphic 2

We were very pleased with the outcome of this event…the food was high quality, everyone had their questions answered, and all of us had a great time!

There will be one more Dine and Demo event this year: November 30. Call now if you want a seat… 541-678-5698-5698.

 

2.19.2016

Blog fig

It’s a building! The exterior of the new Pacific Northwest Audiology Hearing Center is around 80 percent complete and you can easily imagine approaching the building on a lazy summer day…even though the temperature was 35 degrees in spotty rain showers when the picture was taken. Much progress has also been made on the interior, which was painted with an earthy beige color. Windows are framed, the ceiling is going in, and wiring is just about complete. 

In the figure above, panels 1 and 2 show the building from the NNE, and Panel 3 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center. Panel 4 is a schematic of the interior office spaces and panels 5 and 6 show the view from the patient reception area toward the Innovation Technology Center, where we will have interactive displays and technology educational programs for our customers.

Progress continues on a fast track, and we are still planning to move our operations during the first week of April. Check back for updates…we will have a lot more to tell and show as time draws closer to our move-in date!

2.12.2016

Hearing Clinic Graphic

 

Walls are mostly painted, ceilings will be added next week, and the building exterior is looking better every day. Weston Technology has a great plan for fulfilling our wired and wireless technology dreams, and cooperative weather is keeping us on course for a late March move-in date. When you consider that the Universe is more than 13.5 billion years old…a couple of months is like a very small fraction of a second!

We took our staff on a field trip to the building today, and we spent a lot of time discussing how to use the spaces in innovative new ways. We are thinking out of the box in every respect, to create the best patient journey while re-imagining the hearing care experience. We will spare no WOWs! 

In the figure above, panel 1 shows the building from the NNE, and Panel 2 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center. Panel 3 shows the view from the entrance vestibule toward what will become our Innovation Technology Center (purple arrow in panel 6), panel 4 shows work on the building exterior, and panel 5 shows the view toward the Innovation Technology Center from the Reception area (green arrow in Panel 6).

Panel 7 shows the entire crew. From left to right, Dr. Li-Korotky (Chief Audiologist and co-owner), Josh Korotky (Vice President and co-owner), Jackie Carey (our Office Manager), Dr. Ryan O’Clair (Audiologist), Jenny Jochum (Audiologist Assistant), and Mindy Dimitri (Doctor of Audiology Fellow). We are looking to add another Audiologist, Audiologist Assistent, and Front Desk coordinator soon!

Things are happening fast, so check back for updates…we have a lot more to tell and show as time draws closer to our move-in date!

Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2

In Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 1, we introduced corporate and professional business models for hearing health care, and indicated that the level of professional service you receive is linked directly to the business model of the hearing care provider you choose. 

Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2 details the vastly different academic and knowledge requirements for audiologists vs. hearing aid dispensers, and how these differences dictate the legal responsibilities available to each group. It should be noted that audiologists fit hearing aids just like dispensers, but they can legally do much more for your hearing health, whereas dispensers are fundamentally permitted to sell hearing aids.

Audiologists

Audiologists must earn a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree. This requires 4 years of undergraduate study in Communication Sciences (speech and hearing) and an additional 4 years of specialized academic work, including high-level training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and treatment of hearing disorders.

Their extensive academic credentials, professional certifications, and licensure, allow audiologists to legally provide a full range of patient-centered care, a set of professional standards that include a thorough patient assessment, comprehensive diagnostic tests, a consultation to discuss treatment options, highly specialized hearing aid fitting and programming, and a process of post-fitting adjustments and counseling.

Profit is certainly important to independent audiologists, but it doesn’t generally dictate the patient process. Many of the diagnostic and counseling efforts that define professional standards of patient-centered care offer low-profit margins compared to hearing aid sales…but these are critical elements of comprehensive hearing care. Take away any of the links from a patient-centered chain and you also disrupt the process of end-to-end care.

Hearing Aid Dispensers

Hearing aid dispensers, (AKA hearing aid specialists) are limited primarily to hearing aid sales. They can recommend, select, or adapt hearing aids and may alter, adjust or reconstruct hearing aid specifications for functionality, such as taking ear impressions for proper fit, but hearing aid sales keep them in business. Hearing aid dispensers can sell hearing aids in many states if they have a high school diploma or GED Certificate, pass a license exam, complete a brief apprenticeship with a licensed hearing aid specialist, and earn continuing education credits (usually from correspondence courses).

Reduced standards for hearing aid dispensers have caused a rapid spread of clinics with superficially trained staff, whose primary lawful focus is limited to hearing aid sales…not audiological services.

The next and following weeks will provide the truth about dispensers, Big Box corporate culture, hearing aid franchise stores, ENT surgeons,  and Online hearing aid sales. You will come to understand business models and their consequences…and you will discover that discount can be very expensive!

2.5.2016

Blog Graphic Final

Walls are ready for paint, ceilings are ready to be added above, and the building exterior is taking shape. The building is properly wired, Weston Technology is  helping us plan a full course of wired and wireless technology, and we are still on course for a late March move-in date.What could possibly go wrong?

In the figure above, panel 1 shows the building from the NNW, and Panel 2 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center. Panel 3 shows a view down the north hallway, toward the front entrance of the building (blue arrow in figures 3, 4). The right side of Panel 3 shows hearing the aid fitting and consultation rooms, while the offices on the left are where the new soundbooths will earn their living. Panel 5 shows the view down the south hallway, with administrative offices on the left side (yellow arrow in panel 4). The green arows in Panels 4 and 6 show the view toward the waiting and reception areas from what will be our Innovation Center (more later), and the purple arrows in Panels 4 and 6 show the view toward the Innovation Center and Conference room.

Things are happening fast, so check back for updates…we have a lot more to tell and show as time draws closer to our move-in date! 

1.25.16

Blog Pic

It’s January 25 and most of us have already broken our New Years Resolutions, so we can all relax and get on with our lives. Actually, Dr. Li and I are always striving to live better, serve others better, and have fun while we are at it…so we can enjoy friends and New Years without guilt!

Progress continues at a steady clip on the building; the sheet rock has created walls, electrical systems are in place, and we are still on target for a late March move-in date. But, wisdom from ages past dictates that “stuff happens when you least expect it”…so we are prepared to adapt and conquer.

In the figure above, panel 1 shows the building from the NNW, and Panel 2 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center. Panel 3 shows a view down one of the hallways (blue arrow in figure 4), and Panel 5 shows the view down the other hallway (yellow arrow in figure 4). The bottom orange arrow in figure 4 shows the view toward the waiting area from what will be our Innovation Center (more later), and the top orange arrow in figure 4 shows the view toward the Innovation Center and Conference room.

Things are happening fast, so check back for updates…we have a lot more to tell and show as time draws closer to our move-in date! 

01.13.16

01.13.16

Our white Christmas and white New Years are behind us and 2016 is well in the race to 2017. But as Robert Frost said “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But we have promises to keep, And miles to go before we sleep, And miles to go before we sleep.”

Progress continues steadily on our new building; insulation is going into the walls in preparation for dry walls next week, and our IT partner, Weston Technology Solutions is coordinating with Taylor NW to ensure a good IT infrastructure. We are running a bit ahead of schedule, despite the occasional rain, snow, and ice…and it looks like we are on target for a late March move to the new building.

In the figure above, panel 1 shows the building from the NNE, and Panels 2 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center. The arrow in panel 2 shows the orientation of the photo in panel 1. Panels 3 and 4 show views of the interior as denoted in panels 5 and 6 respectively.

Check back often. Walls will be up next week and things are happening fast. We will continue to update the building progress every week!

12.22.15

Blog Pic

We had another week of typical Bend winter weather during the last week, with periods of sun, rain, and snow.  The ground is white and it looks like a white Christmas is assured, so I won’t need to play the old Bing Crosby tune to set the mood!

The sound booths are firmly set in their new home, so interior work will continue around them. In the next few days the construction team will blow in the insulation, and interior framing should begin soon after. Construction is ahead of schedule, which bodes well for our planned move in late March.

In the figure above, panel 1 shows the building from the NNE. Panels 2 and 3 show the sound booths in their permanent locations, and panel 4 shows a long view from the east to the west end of the building, with protective tarps covering the sound booths. Panel 5 shows miscellaneous construction, and panel 6 shows the location of Pacific Northwest Audiology relative to High Lakes Health Center.

Pacific Northwest Audiology will move to the Shevlin Health and Wellness Center by early April. Check back often. We will continue to update the building progress every week!

Pacific Northwest Audiology Building Progress, 12.16.2015, Bend Oregon

12.16.2015

Sound booth installation - 12.16. 2015

We have had typical Bend winter weather during the last week, with periods of Sun, periods of rain, and periods of snow…nothing special! But the construction team worked overtime to get the building ready for the sound booth installation. That meant getting the roof up to keep out the weather and sealing all the window spaces so the building could be heated. Heating is critical because the sound booths require environmental control to ensure their reliable performance.

Pacific Northwest Audiology purchased these top-of-the-line sound booths from Albertina Kerr, a non-profit medical organisation in Portland Oregon dedicated to partnering with the community to help people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges develop self determined lives. Unfortunately, they felt compelled to close their audiology clinic, so we offered to buy the premium sound booths.

A team of experts from Audiology Acoustics, head quartered in Washington State, disassembled the sound booths from their location at Albertina Kerr, and placed them into storage in Portland Oregon last August, until our new building was ready for their installation. They got the go-ahead last week, assembled their team, and brought the sound booths to their new home on Tuesday, December 15. I will talk more about these sound booths during the next update.

In the figure above, panels 1 and 2 show the building from the NE and NNE respectively (see the arrows in panel 6). Panels 3, 4, and 5 show a team from Audiology Acoustics, as they worked on installing the booths in their respective pre-built areas, to ensure a flat entryway from the outside for anyone with physical limitations. As in previous updates, Panel 6 shows the location of our clinic relative to High Lakes Health Center.

Pacific Northwest Audiology will move to the Shevlin Health and Wellness Center this coming April. Check back often. We will continue to update the building progress every week!