Teletinnitus Program at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System There are a multitude of reasons that a teletinnitus program can be beneficial, not only to the patients, but also within the hospital and audiology department. The ability to use technology for the purpose of tinnitus management allows for improved appointment access for all patients, especially those who live at ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2014
Teletinnitus Program at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Constance Hilory Tomberlin
    Department of Veterans Affairs, Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, Mobile, AL
  • Financial Disclosure: Constance Hilory Tomberlin is an Audiologist at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System.
    Financial Disclosure: Constance Hilory Tomberlin is an Audiologist at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Constance Hilory Tomberlin has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Constance Hilory Tomberlin has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2014
Teletinnitus Program at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
SIG 18 Perspectives on Telepractice, March 2014, Vol. 4, 23-29. doi:10.1044/teles4.1.23
SIG 18 Perspectives on Telepractice, March 2014, Vol. 4, 23-29. doi:10.1044/teles4.1.23

There are a multitude of reasons that a teletinnitus program can be beneficial, not only to the patients, but also within the hospital and audiology department. The ability to use technology for the purpose of tinnitus management allows for improved appointment access for all patients, especially those who live at a distance, has been shown to be more cost effective when the patients travel is otherwise monetarily compensated, and allows for multiple patient's to be seen in the same time slots, allowing for greater access to the clinic for the patients wishing to be seen in-house. There is also the patient's excitement in being part of a new technology-based program. The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) saw the potential benefits of incorporating a teletinnitus program and began implementation in 2013. There were a few hurdles to work through during the beginning organizational process and the initial execution of the program. Since the establishment of the Teletinnitus program, the GCVHCS has seen an enhancement in patient care, reduction in travel compensation, improvement in clinic utilization, clinic availability, the genuine excitement of the use of a new healthcare media amongst staff and patients, and overall patient satisfaction.

Acknowledgments
The author gratefully acknowledges Dr. Margaret Peak, Dr. Jennifer Barnes, Dr. Kathy Duncan, Dr. Nicole Dyess, Mike Campbell, Dr. Kimberly Tartt-Godbolt, Michelle Wilkerson, Artist McQueen, Sharon Cacciatore, Tonisha Kenty and Elaine Davis, for their invaluable contributions to the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System Teletinnitus program. Without their assistance, advice, and guidance, the program would not be where it is today. Thank you.
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