As joint owners of Pacific Audiology Clinic, Alisa Weinzimer, Au.D and Allison Bradley, Au.D. help Portland’s hearing-impaired residents become active participants in their own lives.
“From the moment we pick up the phone and answer the first call, we’re always striving to do the best we can for our patients,” Dr. Weinzimer said. “On our in-house surveys, patients have rated us with a 99 percent satisfaction rating. That speaks volumes – especially for those who are a bit reticent to do something that will change their lives.”
Pacific Audiology Clinic’s patient care philosophy is simple: look at each patient’s needs individually. “We like to create customized solutions based on lifestyle, ability to pay and the cutting edge technology at our disposal,” she said. The philosophy, which is loosely based on the Nordstrom approach to customer service, empowers employees to provide outstanding customer service.
The doctors see their patients proactively four times a year in an effort to prevent acute issues from arising – a system that keeps patients happier and using their hearing aids more effectively.
“Allison and I both really are so proud of watching a person experience a metamorphosis and
reintegrate into the hearing world by being dynamically involved in active communication,” Dr. Weinzimer said. “Some are struggling to come to terms with hearing loss and their personality can be changed by that. When they can hear again, it changes back.”
One of their biggest hearing device success stories involves a severely hard of hearing, non-verbal patient whose son paid for his hearing aids. “When we fit him, his eyes became livelier, he became more interactive with caregivers and family, and is now more in touch with his world,” Dr. Weinzimer said. “He’s still nonverbal but his metamorphosis was amazing. He is a much happier individual.”
In addition to conducting educational seminars at their two hearing center locations and six area senior centers, they also participate in local health fairs and visit nursing homes to check for hearing loss, clean hearing instruments and fit residents for hearing aids.
Currently, they are under contract with the local VA where they are successfully treating area veterans for tinnitus. “Nine out of ten of our veterans have tinnitus,” Dr. Weinzimer said, “and we’ve found a hearing aid which gives us flexibility in processing sound to match their condition. This new technology is a good way to holistically help the individual.”
Both doctors say one of the most significant changes in hearing technology has been the development of an extended wear hearing aid that requires no battery change. “It’s great for people who don’t want to fiddle with a battery and want to live their lives with absolute freedom,” Dr. Weinzimer said.
Dr. Weinzimer said their biggest challenge is working with patients who are resistant to getting help for their hearing loss. “We never push,” she explained, “but we always send everyone out the door with a booklet on hearing loss and good communication strategies. If someone is not motivated to make a change immediately, we talk to them about options to bridge the gap and enhance communications. People need to come to that decision on their own.”