Making a sound difference

A man and two women standing in a treatment room
Fiona Stanley Hospital audiologists Dr Dayse Tavora, Dr Christopher Broadbent and Dr Roberta Marino in a sound proof testing room.
October 26, 2018

In a West Australian first, a fast track audiology program has been launched at Fiona Stanley Hospital to improve access to care.

The Audiology Advanced Scope Clinic commenced as a pilot program earlier this year as part of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) service improvement project.

Audiology Head of Department, Dr Dayse Tavora, reports although only a small number of fortnightly clinics have occurred to date, the pilot project has been life-changing for patients.

“Patients triaged into this Advanced Scope Clinic are considered non-urgent, but this new model allows our team to provide timely care to suitable patients, some of whom have been waiting for years, to be seen by the ENT department,” Dr Tavora said.

“We can diagnose patients with a variety of symptoms including hearing loss, tinnitus, sensation of blocked ears, balance disturbance and ringing.

“If medical interventions are not required, we are able to diagnose, treat and discharge the patient; otherwise they are referred for consultation by an ENT surgeon.

“Since its implementation, we have helped expedite patient access to assessment and treatment, leading to significant improvement in the quality of life for many of these patients.”

There have been almost 90 patients seen in the pilot clinic this year. Of this cohort, 80 per cent of patients have been discharged from the service and the rest escalated for further medical care.  

In light of these positive outcomes, the clinic has recently received further support to run a weekly clinic.

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