We all know the story of that one friend or relative who paid a fortune for a hearing aid and then deemed it useless and never wore it. There are a few things that can bring about an issue like this and it has recently been the focus of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
This type of outcome can be the result of receiving a hearing aid that is incorrectly matched to your hearing needs, or a poor assessment or lack of follow up after being fitted with your hearing aid. Lions Hearing Clinic is part of the not-for-profit Ear Science Institute Australia organisation, and has been working hard for nearly a decade to be the stand-out hearing service provider that sits outside this group.
Lions Hearing Clinic Head Lize Coetzee said hearing loss was a personal quest and something she was passionate about.
“My first experience with the hearing industry was as a child when my brother, who has a hearing loss, received poor treatment when we initially found out about his hearing loss,” she said. “It was declared that he had no hearing at all when he did have some hearing, and the distress it caused him and my family was immense”.
We involve the family as many times it is the people closest to the person with hearing loss that are also impacted.
“Luckily for us, this was not an accurate diagnosis, but the lack of empathy, professionalism and testing from the clinician spurred me on to become an audiologist and ensure this never happened again to anyone else.”
Today Ms Coetzee manages the Lions Hearing Clinics across Western Australia and keeps the patient at front of mind in all decisions she makes.
“Our Lions Hearing Clinics only employ qualified clinicians to ensure we provide the best care possible and we never pay commissions to our team so that we can always stay focussed purely on the needs of the person in front of us,” she said.
“We work with Ear Science researchers in two ways; we work together on projects to identify and define ways to improve outcomes for our patients, and many of our patients are happy to be part of these studies, and secondly we implement the findings from research to ensure our clinicians are always working from the latest evidence-based information to provide optimal care,” Ms Coetzee said.
The clinics provide follow-up care to track the hearing outcomes of its patients and avoid any after-purchase disappointment. This continues even a year later when patients are invited back to see their clinician for an assessment to check that they are getting the most out of their hearing aid and to see if there has been any change to their hearing levels.
“Our audiologists spend years at university to learn how to provide ear and hearing health care, and we continue their ongoing education through unparalleled levels of training to keep their knowledge current. We want what is best for our patients and we are invested in making sure they walk away with a better ability to hear than when they first entered the clinic,” Ms Coetzee said.
“We involve the family, as many times it is the people closest to the person with hearing loss that are also impacted, and we know providing the family with information on how to communicate to a person with hearing loss can greatly impact their future quality of life.”
Ms Coetzee said she would definitely recommend Lions Hearing Clinics and was proud of the team and the care they provided to all their patients.
“If our clinics were around when we were seeking help for my brother, I know the situation would have been very different,” she said. “I urge anyone who has a loved one or feels they have hearing loss to contact us. And also people who have hearing aids sitting untouched in their drawers at home. Even if they were purchased at a different clinic, get in touch and we can see if we are able to get them working properly for you again.”