Title: 'The Role of Tele-audiology in Supporting Access to Care '
Track: 2 - Audiological Services
Keyword(s): audiology, diagnostics, telehealth, family-centered
Learning Objectives:
  1. Learn about the prevalence of telehealth to provide audiological services to infants in remote areas.
  2. Obtain resources to support the development of family-centered tele-audiology services.
  3. Gain insights into the challenges of implementing a sustainable tele-audiology program.


Telehealth plays a promising role in the support of EHDI systems, particularly in attempts to reduce loss to follow up for those infants who cannot easily access qualified pediatric audiologists. Several tele-audiology programs are underway across the country, ranging from remote provision of diagnostic evaluations to hearing aid support to cochlear implant integrity tests in the operating room. To further advance the practice of tele-audiology, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management established a 'learning community' comprised of audiologists and researchers from six states with the goal to share knowledge, learn together, and disseminate information to the field. The purpose of this session is to highlight successful tele-audiology efforts being conducted by learning community members. The facilitator for the learning community will lay a foundation by defining tele-audiology and illustrating its prevalence based on survey data and focused interviews. Two learning community members will present their own tele-audiology efforts, describing the steps involved in developing their infrastructure and partnerships required for success. One presenter will describe remote diagnostic evaluation activities in Guam, emphasizing the importance of establishing relationships with staff and families at the remote sites. Another presenter will describe the development of remote hearing aid support and peri-operative cochlear implant testing also done remotely. Logistical considerations and practical strategies employed to overcome obstacles will be discussed, and the importance of ensuring the integration of family-centered practices will be emphasized. A summary focused on real-world challenges, such as privacy and security regulations, reimbursement, and internet connectivity in remote areas will conclude the session. In addition to powerpoint slides, videos depicting tele-audiology sessions and resources developed by the learning community will be presented. There will be ample time allotted for discussion with the audience.
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Handouts: Handout is not Available
Vicki Hunting - Co-Presenter
Hands & Voices
     Credentials: BA, Parent of young adult with hearing loss
     Other Affiliations: Quality Improvement Advisor
      Vicki Hunting lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband Mark and two daughters; the youngest is a young adult with a profound hearing loss. She has worked in project management, process re-engineering and quality/process improvement for over 18 years. In her more recent experience she is a Quality and Operational Improvement Engineer at the University of Iowa, Center for Child Health Improvement and Innovation and trains mental health providers on the use of quality improvement approaches to improve the system of care for Iowa's children and youth with severe emotional disorders. She has experience in using the Model for Improvement as a framework for quality improvement projects, testing, implementing and spreading changes. Using data for improvement, developing and interpreting run charts and control charts, utilization of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle to test changes are also part of her experiences. Vicki has been involved in Iowa H&V for over 10 years.

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Diane Behl - POC,Primary Presenter
     Credentials: M.Ed.
      Diane Behl is a Senior Faculty member at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. She facilitates telehealth learning communities and is a co-investigator for cost-effectiveness studies. She has expertise in evaluating the effectiveness of service coordination provided via Part C Early Intervention and Maternal and Child Health programs.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Anne Marie Tharpe - Co-Presenter
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: Ph.D.
      Dr. Tharpe is Professor and Chair, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. Her clinical and research interests are in the area of pediatric audiology. Specifically, she is interested in the impact of hearing loss on various aspects of child development, special needs of children with multiple disabilities, and the development and assessment of hearing in infants. Dr. Tharpe has published extensively in national and international professional journals, has published a number of books and book chapters, and has spoken to over 200 audiences around the world on pediatric audiology issues.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Deborah Hayes - Co-Presenter
Children's Hospital Colorado
     Credentials: Ph.D.
      Deborah Hayes, PhD, is currently a professor in the departments of pediatrics and physical medicine at the Colorado School of Medicine and chair, audiology, speech pathology and learning services at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. She has been a leader in audiology for more than 30 years and has published significant research work in a variety of topics with such illustrious co-authors as James Jerger, Marion Downs, and Jerry Northern. Her over 50 publications are standards for the profession.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.