Ensuring accurate and reliable results isn’t always a walk in the park and we all know that the quality of your test results has a direct impact on diagnosis, management and patient outcomes. It’s a multifaceted concept that requires participation from both the patient and the health care practitioner. Tools and methods that help increase your test results fidelity are worth looking into.Here are 5 tips to help improve your audiometry results.
Sharpen your tools
The best artist in the world wouldn’t dare start a piece with a blunt pencil and as practitioners, we need to make sure our tools are in top-notch shape as well. As much as a pencil needs a sharper, medical devices need calibration. Regular calibration is one of the best ways to sharpen your tools and ensure that you get quality results each time. With time, your device may lose accuracy due to multiple factors. Normal wear and tear, moving your devices around and bumping it could affect its calibration. To find out more on how important calibration is, check out a piece we did on ‘Why Regular Calibration Is As Important As Exercise’.
Take a comprehensive history
History taking is as important as checking your compass before embarking on a journey across the seven seas. You won’t know where to go if you don’t know where you are in relation to your destination. Similarly, history taking helps you pinpoint the necessary signs and symptoms to know which ‘direction’ or steps to take when testing. Ample research supports the taking of history and shows the benefits when it’s done right. Not only does it help you choose the right diagnostic test to perform, but it’s also been proven to protect patients from the risks of unnecessary testing and reduces the financial burden placed on them. Moreover, it promotes efficiency. Studies show that a comprehensive history leads to timely and accurate diagnosis.
Don’t rush familiarization
There’s nothing more frustrating than familiarizing a patient who seems to understand and once you start the test procedure you realise they’re actually not sure what is expected of them. The process of patient conditioning could be particularly tricky for children and elderly patients. Which is why adequate time, not a whole day, needs to be spent making sure that the individual understands what is expected of them. When done right, familiarization could increase the reliability of your results and save you the time you would otherwise spend re-conditioning the patient when the test is already in progress. So take your time, in order to save time and ensure accurate, reliable test results.
Trust the experts
The next tip focuses on using evidence-based practice which is the crux of quality care. Using researched-based practice as opposed to ‘how things have always been done’ is the best way to ensure quality test results. Research is continually being conducted and as a result, the way we do things should constantly be evolving. The best way to go about it is to follow clinical practice guidelines. These are usually recommended by various bodies or associations and most importantly, they are evidence-based guidelines. A great example of this is in speech audiometry. Research shows that recorded speech materials yield more accurate results than the use of live voice. Many professional bodies, such as the HPCSA in South Africa, also recommend the use of recorded voice for accurate results. So trust the experts, and use procedures validated to yield accurate results.
Context is king
A popular saying for marketers is the phrase ‘content is king’. I, however, would adapt this phrase for health professionals as ‘context is king’. Using test methods or procedures that are contextualized to the patient will undoubtedly improve the quality of your test results. Continuing with the example of speech audiometry set above, the use of contextualized speech materials is paramount for yielding accurate results. Accents and diction play a major role in how a person processes speech. With that said, speech material played in the patients' language of choice is far more likely to produce reliable results than in a language they aren’t proficient in. Although it may not always be possible, taking measures to adapt your procedures to the patient demographics you serve, will not only boost your results but will aid in the management of your patients.
These are just a few examples of many tips one could use to get quality results. Comment down below with tips you swear by. Let’s share the knowledge and help practitioners give the best level of care to those they serve on a daily.
To find out more on how the KUDUwave helps with the tips mentioned above, book a demo, visit our website, or contact us to get a product specialist to share how our device is tailored to help you produce quality, reliable test results.