Best Practices are defined as procedures that have been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that are established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread use. In audiology, this would pertain to evaluation and treatment of hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders.
The American Academy of Audiology (AAA), American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) are national organizations that provide best practices guidelines for their audiologist members. Of particular interest is the area of aural rehabilitation including, but not limited to, the use of hearing devices.
Best practices for treating hearing loss should include:
- Developing a treatment plan that is individual to the patient. This can be achieved by using validated and researched patient-focused inventories to determine communication needs and using meaningful clinical tests, such as speech in noise testing.
- Hearing devices should be selected based on available features and treatment goals.
- Hearing device performance should be verified via real ear/probe microphone measurements whenever possible.
- Validation of the treatment by the patient should be completed by reviewing progress toward original treatment goals at follow up visits after the fitting.