2020 Ep. 14 Hear to Help

Dale Johnson: The conversation starts here every Saturday morning on KFOR FM 103.3 12:40 AM, Dale Johnson with you, maskless right now because Dr. Sandra Miller from Complete Hearing is remote distancing as we have done the last couple of shows, as not only government officials but health officials want us to do in order to flatten this curve. Dr. Miller, thank you. Good to hear from you again.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: It is great to be back.

Dale Johnson: We talk about ear health every Saturday morning on this show. Complete-hearing.com is a great place to go to get a lot of resources. I went to your website before our conversation here and the first page, the first message that comes up, is adjustments that are being made at Complete Hearing considering this pandemic and the instructions that we’ve received here recently from the governor to stay at home and to help flatten the curve for the next 21 days.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: It’s been an adjustment I would tell you for sure. We have been at this for about two weeks now in regards to personally our office. About two weeks ago we decided to close our lobby and we really have been implementing many of the things that so many businesses are doing in terms of wiping things down, using gloves, wearing a mask. We want to make sure that you are safe when you’re here and that we’re safe with each other when we are interacting if we do need to. So we’ve taken some very significant precautions of course, as our city is doing such a great job with. But I want to just emphasize some of the things that you may not know that’s happening at Complete Hearing that I want to share with you today.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Our goal honestly, is to serve all Nebraskans. So at this point in time there might be some people and some listeners out there that are tuning in today that may not know what to do if they’re having a hearing aid problem. We are doing anything and everything. We will service any make, any model, any hearing aids. So if it’s something that you can get to us, we will take care of it for you and ship it back to you at no cost. So you can do that one of two ways. You can ship it to us or you can simply use our drop box that is out front of our practice, and that has been a really big blessing to so many people who have an issue that we can just pick up the drop box and I go through it and we make sure we get it out to you within hopefully the same day if it’s possible.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: That’s been a huge thing. And then we also have curbside pickup which is wonderful. That just means if you don’t necessarily want to wait for it to be mailed back to you, you can pull up to the front door, let us know when you’re here and we’ll bring it right out to you. So that’s been another really helpful thing for many of our patients.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: The third thing is that we are doing a lot of telehealth. And hopefully most of your listeners know what that means. Telehealth simply means that if you’re having a problem that I can… I’m going to use the word FaceTime or Zoom or we use our software through the office that we have that our hearing aid manufacturers help us with in terms of getting you help that you need, and it’s really been wonderful to be able to still see our patients because we do miss them. But sometimes it’s a simple problem we can just talk through if we see each other face to face. We are also doing remote programming if people need changes to their devices, and so we are set up to really be serving the public the best we can even though the lobby’s not open.

Dale Johnson: FaceTime is great. Zoom is great to be able to help your customers and to be able to, as best as you can do a one on one with someone, but there are circumstances, there are patients who just aren’t comfortable with it and that’s where you do take emergency appointments.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: We do take emergency appointments. I would tell you we have had a handful definitely, a week where we have patients who… We have a lot of our patients who are really severely hearing impaired and they have to have their hearing aids to hear, and so we are making sure that we get those patients in and take care of them. If people are calling us with either a sudden hearing loss, “I got a dome stuck in my ear,” there’s things that we want to not have them go to maybe an emergent care for or to the emergency room. If we can assess them here first and help them with something like that, we would prefer that than them going into a situation where there is a possibility for a lot more people being. We are seeing patients one at a time so we don’t have… It’s myself who’s seeing patients here currently in terms of just one at a time coming in and managing those types of appointments so we are here for that as well.

Dale Johnson: Dr. Miller, I want to circle back to something you said and that is that you will treat or you will handle, take on hearing aids of any brand, whether it’s from your clinic or not, devices, questions, people who aren’t even patients because we are in a time right now where communication can be cumbersome. Not everyone is open at the regular hours. Not everyone has the passion that you have and that your staff have at Complete Hearing to set up curb side, drop off, video health, tele-health, that sort of thing, that you will take on other people’s problems because of the passion that you have for making sure people can hear properly.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Well, absolutely. We’re not only just here to support the public of course and our patients, but we want to support the other businesses and maybe some of the other practices that aren’t open. We want to make sure their patients are taken care of as well. The ultimate goal for us is to make sure that people are taken care of and I think that’s kind of the common theme across many different disciplines is that we want to make sure, regardless of the trouble that you’re having, we are here to help you if we can.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: So we just actually developed some videos, tips that we did this week that we’re going to be putting up. We have a YouTube channel. We’re really hip now so watch out. But I think it’s so wonderful because right now is a time when we have a situation where if you’re the caregiver and you’re a son, you’re a daughter, and you cannot go see your loved one that may be in a facility where they’ve locked it down and you’re their primary source of checking their devices, changing their batteries, cleaning their hearing aid. Now what happens because you’re not there to help them? And so we’re doing a couple of different things to make sure that our patients are still being taken care of where they’re a little bit more isolated, is we’re providing support videos not only to the patient, to the loved ones, but also to the staff.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: So think about people who might work at Eastmont, Savannah Pines, there’s so many wonderful facilities here in Lincoln that we have, we want to support their staff as well. So now they’re in a situation where they’re maybe taking on a duty that was done before by a family member. We want to be able to train them and teach them how to do that so they are best equipped to be able to handle that. So we’re sending out information to the facilities as well to say, we’re here to help you with this as well.

Dale Johnson: Oh, so not only are you face to face with patients on Zoom and FaceTime, but you’re sitting in front of cameras to record some videos. Where can these be found?

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: We are. So I just love the fact that we have this technology that we are able to do this and the fact that if you watch a video and you need more information, you can always call us. You can always email us. That’s why we’re here to answer the questions you might have. But it’s nice to have that resource. My favorite thing about learning is that, when we learn something auditorily, within 24 hours we forget 70% of it. 70%, and so if you think about if you have access to a video that you can watch, you can rewind, you can pause, you can rewatch it, it really helps that information sink in and it’s there at your disposal when you need it. And so when we fit a hearing aid, we do cover so much information. And so I think it’s such a wonderful tool to be able to give, not only to our patients, but anybody who is in need of this information.

Dale Johnson: So Facebook videos, YouTube videos, those are outlets. Those are platforms that patients can go to.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Yeah. You know, it’s really funny, our staff is so wonderful. In a time of uncertainty and in a time of we’re not sure what we should do, we just jump in. We’re like, “How can we figure out a way to best serve our patients in a time when it’s uncertain?” And we want to make sure that we’re providing good tools. And so I’ll give you an example of, not related to hearing but related to serving, is our patient care coordinator, her name is Rhonda, she loves to sew and she has sewn over 150 masks which is amazing. And she had them here at our office before we even shut down in terms of our lobby being closed. So it’s such a wonderful gift that people have is they’re just giving so generously, which is amazing to me.

Dale Johnson: Rhonda is your patient care coordinator at Complete Hearing?

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Yeah. Sometimes you’ll catch her on the phone. She actually is somebody who will be checking you out if you come in to see us, but she’s just really serving the community in another way. So it’s just been a blessing to… And honestly be able to help her as well because one thing that I find in working as a small business, we have a lot of connections and that just means we’re connected to other people. So another example would be, we have our designer is connected to Horizons Church and she was letting me know yesterday that, we have a whole crew of people just waiting to volunteer. If somebody needs to have them go pick up groceries, run an errand for them, pick up medicine, we have a whole group of people just waiting to wanting to serve. So I think it’s such a wonderful thing that we have these things in our community and the resources are available. And if you’re having questions, here at Complete Hearing, we’re not just about hearing, like I said, we can connect you to something or find you some help for what you might be needing.

Dale Johnson: So there are people answering the phones and it’s maybe not as busy as it was before the self-isolation but supplies are still being shipped out. Supplies are still coming in. You’re still treating patients albeit your storefront if I could call it that, is no longer open.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Exactly. Exactly. And we’re hoping… Our plan is to do the first week of May and we’re hoping that as we’ve been flattening the curve that that is able to happen and again we are here to just the public as the best we can and provide the services that we can but still abiding by definitely the precautions that we need to do with the pandemic being there.

Dale Johnson: And we started this conversation by talking about the adjustments being made by the staff and by Dr. Miller at Complete Hearing. If you do go to, not if but when, you go to complete-hearing.com our conversations are there too. People can podcast, listen again, we have a lot of great information and sometimes it flows so quickly in a short amount of time that there were people that would like to hear it again and that’s available on the podcast, complete-hearing.com.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: You could hear it and then we also have it transcribed so you can also read it, which I love. So it’s just another way to learn. If we can put all those wonderful uses of hearing, seeing, and doing into practice, we’re definitely more likely to retain it, and it’s just nice to have the ability to go back and research that.

Dale Johnson: I need to check out some of those Facebook videos and some of the YouTube videos.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: You need to, yes. On Monday we’ll have quite a few up. I would tell you, just check out our Facebook page. I’ve been posting some weekly updates on what’s happening with us here at Complete Hearing, so I would definitely love for you to go join our Facebook page and like it and check out what we’re doing.

Dale Johnson: Saturday mornings, we love talking about helping you hear better. Dr. Sandra Miller, the expert from Complete Hearing, the place to go, we’ll keep referring you there, complete-hearing.com, go to their Facebook page, check out the videos too on YouTube. Dr. Miller, thank you very much. I appreciate the physical distancing and the socialization that we get here every Saturday morning.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D: Thanks Dale, we’ll talk to you next week.