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Last Modified: 06/22/2021

II. Organizational Readiness

A sleeping baby, wrapped in a green blanket

As with any new initiative, it is important to ensure that the needed buy in, resources, and work plan are in place to ensure success. Without laying a strong foundation, a new initiative is likely to fail. Therefore, the first step in beginning a tele-audiology effort involves determining your organization’s readiness. There are three key components to address to ensure readiness to implement T-A:

  1. Complete a needs analysis. This helps identify specific needs and areas where needs exist. Asking questions such as “Which areas of the state are experiencing the greatest loss to follow up?” or “Which areas have existing telehealth efforts underway on which we can build?”
    The Iowa T-A Needs Assessment [PDF] is a resource to help determine the best use of Tele-Audiology for your business.
    The American Academy of Audiology COVID-19 and Clinical Recommendations provides suggestions on how to react to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Design your program model. The information from the needs analysis is used to develop a model for delivering tele-audiology services. This includes targeting the geographic areas to be served, identification of personnel in both the patient and specialist sites, training, and technology resources. The ASHA Tele-Audiology Model Considerations reviews different tele-audiology service delivery models.
  3. Develop a business plan. It is important to ensure that your proposed tele-audiology program is financially viable in order to sustain the service. Many new tele-audiology projects start out as grants, which are useful to fund feasibility studies. However, a business plan includes developing long-term funding mechanisms.

Featured Article: Critical Steps in Establishing a Teleaudiology Practice

  • From the article: "Interested in building a teleaudiology program into your existing hearing care practice or organization? Here is some practical advice, as well as 10 items to consider in your planning."

The California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC) has valuable information describing this process. This resource was developed from 10 years of experience in the telehealth field and provides content from telehealth experts across the nation. CTRC also provides a Just in Time Video series that articulates these key steps, as well as providing many other up-to-date tele-audiology resources and information.

The Business Case for Tele-audiology article reviews important business considerations pertaining to tele-audiology implementation. The ATA’s Business and Finance Special Interest Group produced a Business Plan Template Summary specifically for telehealth programs. As defined by ATA’s Business and Finance Special Interest Group, “a business plan is a comprehensive planning document that clearly describes the business development objectives of a new service [such as tele-audiology], and it contains the detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be realized” (Barker, G., etc..).