Updated 8/4

Wearing a Mask with Hearing Aids

Now, at this pandemic time, it is required by the State for people to wear masks in public or meeting with people closely. We have noticed that it has been particularly challenging to wear a mask with hearing aids on the ear. It is also common for people to lose their hearing aids when removing the ear loop of the mask from the ear.

To overcome this problem, my first suggestion is to use an N95 mask if possible, since it has straps that go over the head and neck, but not the ear loops around the ears.

However, if you have to use the masks with ear loops, here are some helpful tips:

Clever tips to protect your ears and hearing aids while wearing a mask - loop around a bun; connect ear loops with fabric; connect ear loops to buttons on headband; connect ear loops with string or ribbon to tie behind head

 

Communicating when Wearing a Mask

  • Speak slowly, clearly, and at a normal volume
  • Rephrase remarks when not understood
  • Take turns when speaking
  • Make sure hearing aid users have them on
  • Keep background noise to a minimum
  • Face each other at a safe distance

 

When Removing Your Mask

  • Check to make sure hearing aids are still in place when removing a mask as they may come off with mask removal
  • If you accidentally drop the device, you may use the app to locate your hearing aids, if your hearing aids are compatible with a smartphone

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Jerry at (651) 393-6565 or send us a message today.

Sincerely,

Hearing of America

Update 5/18/2020

We are open, with continuous addition of more coronavirus protection equipment. We have added 2 durable transparent plastic panels on our reception desk as the sneeze guard, even though we wear N95 face masks. We keep doing our diligent hand washing, and sanitizing before and after each patient on every touching point, with Lysol disinfectant spray and/or Clorox disinfecting wipes. Patient is recommended to wear a mask, and call us for special in-office or curbside services. Susceptible patient or symptomatic patient is also recommended to stay home and call us for a Telehealth service or a courier pick up service.


Update 4/16/2020

At this pandemic time, everybody would keep staying-at-home as much as possible, especially for seniors who are at high risk. So we have partnered with a very reputable local courier to help our patients to send and/or receiver hearing devices or accessories. Here is how it works. You call us at (651) 393-6565 for your hearing care need. We will send the courier to your door or the door of your community. The courier picks it up at your home, and deliver it to us on the same day or the next day. We will work on your device within a day and send the serviced item to you the next day. Is that FAST!! The cost will depend on your distance, but it would be cheaper than you mail the device through the postal office service with the insurance on your device. We serve all make hearing aids!! (ReSound, Phonak, Signia/Siemens, Oticon, Widex, Rexton, Unitron, and more)


Update 3/21/2020

​We continue serving our valued patients with the following more services:

  1. Tele-health service:

    We are proud to offer patients video appointments using a cloud-based and HIPAA compliant conferencing platform through our business system, or dixy.me/hear, or Zoom, whichever works for your specific technical situation. This service allows us to have video appointments with you on a totally secure platform. The appointments are treated and billed the same way that in-office appointments are treated as far as insurance/health plans are concerned. Many of our new hearing aids have Remote Assist option and we can provide remote adjustments through this time of crisis.

  2. Drive through service:

    Call and let us know you are dropping off your hearing aid that needs repair. Drop it in a sanitized container at the front and feel free to wait in your car while we fix it or we can call you when it is ready for pickup.

  3. Drop in service:

    Call and let us know you are dropping off your hearing aid that needs repair. Drop it in a sanitized container at the front. If the service needs longer time and you can’t wait, we will call you when it is ready for pickup.

  4. Mail-in service:

    We are happy to fix it and mail back. Shipping & handling fees will apply even if you have services in clinic.

  5. Pick up service :

    You call us to arrange a service time to pick up your hearing aids and/or accessories at your home or the front desk of your living community. We will sanitize all incoming hearing aids and accessories and we will sanitize all serviced items before the delivery or shipping. After service we will inform you about the delivery/shipping. In-home service fee may apply.

  6. Same day local delivery:

    We have partnered with local courier delivery service to turn around your devices the same or next day depending on the time when we receive your device.

  7. Controlled in-office service:

    Please see the below strict procedures we implemented in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, with sanitization, sterilization, masks and gloves, social distancing, controlling of visitors in reception room, etc.

  8. Virtual audio/video consultation:

    Please see the below strict procedures we implemented in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, with sanitization, sterilization, masks and gloves, social distancing, controlling of visitors in reception room, etc.


Just call us at (651) 393-6565 to schedule a service.


Update 3/17/2020

Dear Valued Patients

Just like you, we are closely monitoring new developments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). The health and safety of our patients and employees are of the utmost importance. We are committed to doing everything we can to maintain a safe and comfortable experience when you visit our clinic. Therefore, we’d like to inform you of the clinical infection control guidelines and universal precautions we’ve always taken in our office. You can count on us to be a hearing care leader in meeting the challenge of the coronavirus.

 

What We Are Doing Differently:

We have implemented several new policies and procedures, which follow recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to stay up-to-date with these leading regional healthcare facilities and their recommendations and practices for the safety and comfort of all our patients and employees in the region.

We are reinforcing our sanitization safety procedures in both patient-facing and employee-only areas. We are sanitizing high-traffic public areas at an increased frequency.

  • Hand sanitizers are located throughout our facilities. Sanitizers are refilled and checked regularly.
  • Public touch points, such as door handles, check-in station, knobs, light switches, seating areas, reception counter, coffee maker, credit card pen and pad, telephones, and every commonly-touched surface will be disinfected and cleaned multiple times throughout the day, usually before and after each use.

Our clinic has implemented hand washing and sanitizing procedures to take place multiple times during each day.

  • All employees are instructed each day on correct hand sanitizing procedures.
  • Employees are instructed to wash hands before and after eating and before returning to a work area.
  • Clinical employees are instructed to wash hands before and after every patient appointment thoroughly for 20 seconds.
  • Proper procedures are posted in all employee-only work areas.

All Hearing of America employees are prohibited from reporting to work with a respiratory illness that can be transmitted to others. Our provider and staff are required to wear a face mask and gloves.

For patients who feel unwell, we have detailed protocols developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  • Our patients feeling unwell and scheduled for a routine appointment or evaluation, should call our office at (651) 393-6565 to reschedule their appointment to a date at least 14 days from today’s date and when the patient is no longer feeling unwell.
  • Our patients feeling unwell and with a broken technology or causing pain, should call our office at (651) 393-6565 for a special arrangement going through the reception room. The patient will be given a facial mask to be worn while entering and leaving the office. The doctor and clinical team will assess the patient using proper universal precautions in a private room.

We want you to not only receive exceptional health care but also to enjoy your visit with us. We assure you we will be attentive and vigilant so you can receive a safe and comfortable hearing and tinnitus treatment in our clinics.

Social Distancing

The CDC recommends using “social distancing” whenever possible as an effective way of decreasing the likelihood of transmitting coronavirus. The agency has updated its definition of social distancing to mean “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

With this advice in mind, we are implementing these new steps in our practice:

  • We will schedule appointments to minimize possible contact with other patients in the waiting room.
  • We will take the patient into the appointment room waiting for the provider to serve.
  • We are making video conferencing available to some patients who are able to be evaluated via smartphone, tablet or laptop computer equipped with a camera and we are actively reaching out to those patients who qualify for a telehealth visit with our hearing care provider.
  • We will ask patients to arrive on time for their appointments, rather than too early since that will minimize the amount of time they spend in our reception area.
  • We will advise patients to maintain proper social distancing and if they are more comfortable waiting in their car, we will offer to call or text them when we are ready to seat the patient for the appointment.
  • We will reserve the right to screen the patient using an infrared forehead thermometer. Any patient with a temperature of 100 degrees or above will be rescheduled unless emergency pain, swelling or infection is present. These emergency patients will follow the protocol listed below. These patients will also be advised to call their physician’s office.
  • We have removed magazines and paper reading materials from our reception rooms as they are not easy to disinfect.

We appreciate your patience and thank you for your understanding if some of these new steps might cause a scheduling inconvenience or longer wait times that you are accustomed to in one of our clinics. Your safety and comfort remain our top priorities.
If you have questions or special requests, please reach out to us at (651) 393-6565 or service@hearingofamerica.com