Audiology professionals today have numerous choices when deciding what audiologist equipment is best for their particular practices. Availability in your particular market and personal preference are a big part of this decision making process. Although every audiology office has common needs such as audiometers, a tympanometer, testing booths and other commonly used equipment also has its own unique requirements and no one piece of audiologist equipment is perfect for every office.
The Right Tools for the Right Job
Often a new audiologist may buy an existing one from another audiologist that is retiring or is replacing some of their older equipment. As a result the audiologist equipment may not have all of the advantages of the more modern and advanced apparatus that is currently available to the market. While it is important to purchase that which fits the current operating budget, it is equally important to consider the diagnostic benefits of the chosen equipment. Obviously the equipment needs are determined primarily on what the basic responsibilities are for a given practice, a clinical practice has different needs than an audiologist whose primary function is doing diagnostic work as a lab service for medicine.
There is a plethora of choices when considering which audiometer is best for your application today but there are several features that are most important, such as air, bone, and speech testing a two channel communication system with live voice and ipsi/contraleteral testing. Human resource audiology services such as testing emergency personnel to determine if they are qualified for service would require an audiometer with sound field capabilities.
The ability to test middle ear capability is very important, especially when patients include children. A new tympanometer should include contralateral and ipsilateral acoustic testing, ETF testing, and reflex decay testing. Other minimum requirements should include 4 reflex frequencies, the capability to keep a number of tests each year and an attached printer.
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing Systems
A small portable unit is preferable, especially when used in pediatric applications. An OAE screening device can be purchased for around $3,000 and the more advanced units are about $5,000 but include many more features and are very easy to use. Again, your individual needs play an important role as to which equipment is best for the chosen application.
ABR and ASSR
The need for this particular audiologist equipment is somewhat limited and most audiologists have not invested in it due to the high cost and relatively low return. Unless your office has a high volume of pediatric patients or work closely with more than one ENT, then the need for these particular units may not enough to offset the expense of purchasing it.
There are numerous options for the modern audiologist when deciding what audiologist equipment to use in their individual practice. Taking the time to make the proper decisions will ultimately increase revenue but more importantly, it will better serve the needs of the patients that depend on their audiologist for help.