Onward Referral of Adults with Hearing Difficulty Directly Referred to Audiology Services

New Direct Referral Guidance from BAA

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Image source: BAA

This document is intended to guide Audiologists in service planning and in making referrals for a medical or other professional opinion.

Along with “Guidelines for Primary Care: Direct Referral of Adults with Hearing Difficulty to Audiology Services (2016) 1 ”, this document replaces the earlier guidelines (BAA 20092 , TTSA 19893,4 ) and has been approved by the Board of the British Academy of Audiology.

This document comprises a set of criteria which define the circumstances in which an Audiologist in the UK should refer an adult with hearing difficulties for a medical or other professional opinion. If any of these are found, then the patient should be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department, to their GP or to an Audiologist with an extended scope of practice. The criteria have been written for all adults (age 18+), but local specifications regarding age range for direct referral should be adhered to.

This document is intended to be used in conjunction with “Guidelines for Primary Care: Direct Referral of Adults with Hearing Difficulty to Audiology Services (2016) 1 ”. Audiology services are expected to make reasonable efforts to make local GPs aware of this guidance and support their understanding of its application.

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Primary Care Physicians as Partners in Hearing Health Care

Weinstein, B. Hearing Journal. July 2016. 69(7) pp. 20,21

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Older adults with multimorbidity often consult their primary care providers (PCPs), making these health care professionals some of the most important stakeholders in the quality enterprise. There is a movement afoot in geriatric medicine for a single point of contact to whom the patient will turn, for example, with a simple question: “Who shall I see so I can remain connected to my family and friends?”

A recent report by Desai et al. revealed that rather than “shopping” for a health care provider based on cost, older adults prefer to proceed with referrals from their doctors (JAMA 2016;315[17]:1874). When considering health care provider recommendations, patients put a premium on the relationship with their doctor and the emphasis placed on outcomes. Out-of-pocket expenditures are oftentimes considered a secondary concern

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