The Teleaudiology Guidelines offer a blueprint for delivering hearing services, safely and effectively, by an Audiologist or Audiometrist in a different location to their client.
The Guidelines are intended to:
No. Teleaudiology is a service delivery option.
Clinical competencies and duty of care apply to an Audiologist or Audiometrist whether a hearing service is delivered in person or remotely.
Audiology Australia does not mandate standards for any service delivery models.
Delivering health care remotely has evolved over many years for a wide range of health services. The 2019 Roadmap to Hearing Health, building on earlier Parliamentary and other reports, identified the potential of teleaudiology to address inequitable access to hearing services for people living in rural and remote parts of Australia.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the level of interest in and take up of teleaudiology to support Australians’ hearing health during lockdowns, travel restrictions and temporary business closures.
The Teleaudiology Guidelines will help improve models of care for people who need hearing care and ensure the consistency of quality services across Australia.
As the Ida Institute reported in 2021, “…the hearing care of the future is not location specific…and, in most cases, care will be a hybrid of in-person and remote” [Future Hearing Journeys, 2021].
Teleaudiology is a service delivery option that complements in-person services. Audiologists, Audiometrists, providers and clients may choose to use teleaudiology or not. How and when it is used should be guided by:
No. The Teleaudiology Guidelines complement guidance documented elsewhere such as:
Teleaudiology is already being used to provide hearing care across Australia’s national border:
Audiologists Audiometrists and providers must be aware of and comply with the legal and regulatory requirements including professional standards, accreditation and/or licensing that apply in the client’s location.
Clients using teleaudiology should confirm where their Audiologist or Audiometrist is based as well as their accreditation and membership of Audiology Australia, the Australian College of Audiology (ACAud) or the Hearing Aid Audiology Society of Australia (HAASA).
Extensive consultation with Audiologists, Audiometrists, hearing services providers, consumers and other hearing health stakeholders was undertaken in 2021 and 2022. Feedback was provided through focus groups, written comments, individual interviews and a survey.
No. The Teleaudiology Guidelines are written for Audiologists and Audiometrists. We are developing consumer-friendly resources for people who need hearing services to help them make informed choices about teleaudiology.
Yes, teleaudiology can deliver hearing care safely and effectively. In some circumstances, teleaudiology may enhance the level of care, for example, by:
Teleaudiology is an alternative way to deliver hearing services. It can complement in-person care. The client’s preferences and circumstances should be considered together with the professional judgment of the Audiologist or Audiometrist about how to achieve the best outcomes for their client.
Most hearing services can be delivered using one or more forms of teleaudiology. Clinical guidance is a key element of the Teleaudiology Guidelines, drawing on evidence and other considerations to help an Audiologist or Audiometrist determine how to achieve optimal outcomes for their client.
Teleaudiology is suitable for anyone who requires hearing services, regardless of age, location, residential arrangements, abilities, or social and economic circumstances.
Qualified and accredited Audiologists and Audiometrists can deliver hearing services using teleaudiology. In doing so, they must abide by:
Teleaudiology Guidelines do not replace or diminish the professional judgement and duty of care that Audiologists and Audiometrists apply to their clinical practice.
Telehealth, also called remote care, virtual care or telepractice, refers to delivery of health services from a distance. The term “teleaudiology” is used when this health service refers specifically to audiology services, i.e., the delivery of hearing services by an Audiologist or Audiometrist who is in a different location to the client.
Teleaudiology covers many different modes of interactions between an Audiologist or Audiometrist and a client including:
Teleaudiology can occur:
Teleaudiology may involve another person (a significant other, carer, health professional or trained assistant) to support the client or help the Audiologist deliver the service.