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The Hearing Health Awareness Program

– An Introduction for Pharmacists

The Mission of the Hearing Health Awareness Program (“HHAP” for short) is to broaden awareness among a wide cross section of the public about the importance of maintaining hearing health as well as to enable processes that lead, when appropriate, to further assessment and treatment.
HHAP represents a collaboration among health care professionals and organizations concerned about the rise of untreated hearing health problems. In fact, those with untreated hearing loss represent the largest cohort of people in Canada and the United States with a chronic condition - estimates range as high as 70 million.  Many are individuals 40 years and over who have mild or moderate losses. The pattern of hearing change can be recognized in many cases even when their hearing is still within the normal range and can possibly be prevented from further decline.   
Community based pharmacists - like family physicians – are well positioned to serve as gatekeepers for identifying a patient’s hearing status yet invariably lack the knowhow or interpreted hearing screening required to fulfill that role effectively. HHAP therefore aims to engage them in developing a comprehensive hearing health program that addresses their customer’s needs - particularly those thousands who are currently undetected or treated – that is easy to administer as well as rewarding for all participants. It is designed to provide the technology and guidance required to offer hearing health care services as an addition to conventional pharmacy practices thus enabling pharmacists to recommend preventative and rehabilitative strategies for their patients to follow. 

The program provides an end-to-end solution by including other professionals involved in delivering hearing health, who receive referrals for further work up when a patient’s condition warrants. Pharmacies which express interest in joining the program are qualified as to their location, staffing and patient profile, then partnered with a competent audiologist or hearing instrument specialist in a typical referral relationship. Following this pairing, Ultimate Kiosk orients both parties and installs one of its hearing screening kiosks in a convenient location close to the prescription desk. Patients are then encouraged to test themselves and discuss the findings with pharmacy staff who receive the report. Where losses warranting a more complete assessment occur, patients are referred to the partner for follow-up.

One key feature of the system is its ability to classify results by both level and pattern of the audiograms, much like an experienced practitioner would do. There is no charge to the pharmacist for the kiosk and the orientation/knowhow provided with it. The program is paid for by the hearing health partners who enjoy the referral relationship with the participating pharmacy.

 Coaching combined with a frequent call program as well as effective monitoring and reporting results in virtuous circle of benefits – a platform for enabling the public to learn about their hearing function, providing advertising and a steady flow of qualified leads for the partner resulting in more patients and hearing instrument sales as well as new sources of recurring revenues for the physician and program sponsor. 

Participation in the program and the benefits it provides is voluntary. It is delivered in Canada by IDS Canada and Ultimate Kiosk Inc., funded by members of the hearing instrument community. At present Ultimate Kiosk is starting up networks with two community pharmacy chains and welcomes additional interest. 


For further information please complete this form and give it to a representative or
Alternatively fax it to 905-468-9484

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