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Let Me Hear From You

Let Me Hear From You

Innovation in the Works! 

As we look forward to AudiologyNOW! 2014, let’s take a look back at last year’s event, with an eye to the Academy’s progress since we met in Anaheim. The theme of AudiologyNOW! (AN!) 2013 was “Innovating the Future of Audiology.” So, was this mantra embraced? Was there real and meaningful carryover that affects you, your practice setting, your profession?

The answering is a resounding “YES!” Your Academy leadership team took that AN! mandate to heart. As I mentioned in an earlier member communication during my term as president, I encouraged the Academy staff last January to be mindful of opportunities for “innovating” their respective work venues and focus areas. Additionally, I asked the staff to report to me midway through my term regarding the ways in which they have implemented innovative strategies over the past 12 months, and am delighted to share some of their responses and activities with you. Welcome to tomorrow—your staff and leadership team is innovating the future of audiology! Read on…I think you’ll be impressed!

Technology

Many services were automated this year, increasing ease of use for members, exhibitors, and committee members, as well as staff efficiency.

  • Our new online CE provider submission system has reduced staff processing time, improved ease of use for our CE providers, as well as the submission review and approval process handled by the Professional Development Committee.
  • Staff has employed major changes in technology for AudiologyNOW!, including a single system for attendees to view all sessions, ePosters, schedules, exhibitor information, social media, and to access the CEU manager system. This new service can be accessed across all technology platforms (laptop, tablet, and smartphone) through a Web link or an App. The system for presenter submissions has also been updated, streamlining the process for uploading presentations, headshots, biographies, etc., and facilitating more marketing opportunities for presenters, attendees, and exhibitors through social media.
  • Many AudiologyNOW! exhibitor forms went “paperless” during this time period, including contracts, event notifications, etc. This saves time for both the Academy and the exhibitors’ staff.

 Education

  • The Academy’s first online university course, on coding, reimbursement, and compliance, was developed and delivered. This program can now be shared with other educational institutions.
  • The first Academy Regional Coding and Reimbursement Specialty Conference was held at the end of January in California, and was a sell out! Watch for this concept to expand to other regions
  • A free eAudiology Web seminar promotion was offered to members during the month of October to help celebrate National Audiology Awareness Month.
  • The Research to Reality series in eAudiology was created and implemented, as well as a complimenting series of AT articles—a new concept to help close the gap between the theoretical and clinical realities.

Communications

  • Ready for a new and improved online Academy? Innovation is in progress! Re-creation of our Web sites (www.audiology.org, www.studentacademyofaudiology.org, and www.audiologynow.org) is underway!
  • And how about the new Audiology Solutions Network? This virtual resource directory offers you up-to-the minute product information you’ve come to value as part of our AudiologyNOW! experience…all year long!
  • The Academy launched the first digital edition of Audiology Today and our first e-book, Ethics in Audiology, available for the Nook, Kindle, and iPad.
  • And did you know that an Audiology Today iPad app has been created?
  • Our staff and committee members developed and launched the Coding, Reimbursement, and Compliance E-Newsletter to bring you the latest information on these complex topics.
  • Our extremely popular General Audiology Community as well as three specialty communities were launched this year—with more than 2,000 users, these communities are a huge success!

And there’s more….

  • We’re increasing international educational outreach with a new program that offers free on-demand Webcasts of the Marion Downs lecture presentations. The AAA Foundation and the Professional Advancement Department are working together to ensure that the global audiology community has access to the quality educational sessions in pediatric audiology that are available on eAudiology.org.
  • Want to make a difference? The Foundation continues to promote participation in its HearAfter Society, for those audiologists who wish to make a legacy gift.
  • Use of video conferencing via Adobe Connect was increased to reduce costs involved with various meeting activities.
  • Cloud-based initiatives: We have moved our legacy FAX services to a cloud-based system, thus eliminating the need for physical FAX machines in the office. We have also transitioned the back-ups of critical data to a cloud-based service, which enhances our back-up security and disaster-recovery efforts.
  • The online donation system for our PAC and Foundation has been improved, resulting in increased and streamlined collections.
  • Staff and volunteers worked together to create a toolkit for Academy members to assist in navigating the changing landscape inherent to health care reform.
  • We expanded participation in direct lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, and had more Academy members on the Hill so far this session than ever before!

This is an impressive 12-month track record, and I appreciate and commend both staff and volunteer leadership for their targeted efforts to innovate audiology, and for their ongoing responsiveness to my challenge to them to do so. Congratulations on a job well done!

But, we’re not done, and we need you.The Academy staff and your leadership team is hard at work, every day, to ensure that we continue to make a real and lasting difference for hearing health care. Please, register now for AudiologyNOW! 2014 and “Experience the Magic” that the Academy and audiology offer. Let’s come together in Orlando and ensure that the next 12 months are as productive as the last!