Best Practices in Hearing Aid Dispensing: An Interview with Michael Valente, PhD

An interview with one of the best people in the field.

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Good interview.

Valente said “Maybe we should do what they do in England, Australia, Norway, Canada, and many other countries, and mandate REMs as a necessary part of the fitting protocol.” I am from Australia. I go to an ENT owned audiology group who have an audiologist in charge of their professional standards. They do R.E.M. routinely. Audiology is not a registered health profession in Australia. Their peak body here does self regulate including offering professional guidelines for their members but no one has to join the peak body and some do not. The peak body does include R.E.M. as best practice.

I know that government funded HAs supplied in Australia include a bunch of rules and I wonder if this is the requirement he is talking about. Not everyone qualifies for government funding. As far as I know there is no other way for a legal requirement for REM in a profession which is not subject to registration standards. And I don’t think it is universally done.

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Would the REM only be done at first fit or afterwards? More than once? I think I might have had an REM done at first fit but not any after.

It is done at first fit and might be repeated if you have a complete reprogramming from scratch, a repair or replacement done. I had it done with each pair I tried and with a replacement aid. It tells the audiologist if the aid is delivering the set amount of amplification accurately in your ear canal. So if the aid changes then it would need to be repeated. The audiologist can adjust the programming to allow for any difference between the initial required output and the actual output delivered.