Cochlear Americas Announces Sound Partnership - A Program Providing Audiologists More Time for Direct Patient Care

Jun 06, 2007, 01:00 ET from Cochlear Americas

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo., June 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Cochlear Americas, the world
 leader in cochlear implant technology, recently announced the launch of
 Sound Partnership(TM), a group of initiatives that provide hearing device
 implant centers with more time to counsel and treat patients.
     Through Sound Partnership's five-part integrated clinical solutions,
 clinicians will find that the program reduces the technical and
 administrative challenge of treating hearing impaired patients, leaving
 more time for direct patient care.
     "As the demand for implanted hearing technology increases, we are
 looking for ways to support our clinics. We believe that the Sound
 Partnership program offers interested centers individualized
 recommendations to improve patient flow and reduce non-reimbursed
 administrative aftercare of their recipients. This program will enable
 clinics to focus on what is most important: offering patients the highest
 level of direct patient care," said Chris Smith, president, Cochlear
     Sound Partnership's Hear Always, direct patient technical support
 model, is a first for the cochlear implant industry, as patients will
 receive technical troubleshooting, warranty and maintenance support
 directly from Cochlear Americas. Twenty clinics nationwide participated in
 the Hear Always pilot program during the second half of 2006. Removing this
 administrative burden from the participating clinic's workload has made a
 significant impact. The clinics have saved an average of four hours of
 non-reimbursable time per week, which translates into a savings of $3
 million of non-reimbursable expenses across the nation annually.
     According to Jan Gilden, M.A., Executive Director of Houston Ear
 Research Foundation, "The Hear Always program has assisted not only our
 clinic staff, but our patients. With our very busy schedule of seeing
 patients, we cannot be available in a timely manner to help with
 troubleshooting issues. Our recipients are directed to call Hear Always, to
 speak immediately with a well-trained technician that can help them
 identify and resolve the problem, resulting in the recipient being back
 with sound almost immediately. The Hear Always staff is excellent about
 keeping our Center in the loop of how the issues are resolved."
     Sound Partnership's Business Solutions program includes Cochlear's
 newly launched online purchasing experience. is a fully
 integrated online ordering system where clinicians can rapidly order
 Cochlear products, and custom configured implant systems with ease. The
 secure Web store has been designed with the clinicians purchasing
 procedures in mind and the pilot program earned extremely positive
     " has improved the ordering process. It is an efficient
 way to order and keep track of the ordering process in our clinic," said
 Katie L. Gray Au.D. at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center.
 "The ease of ordering has improved significantly from the time we were
 faxing all of the orders. All of the hook-up kits that we have ordered
 through the system have arrived timely without any
     As an industry, cochlear implant manufacturers are only treating about
 10 percent of the patients who can benefit from the technology, according
 to the American Journal of Audiology. The Sound Partnership group of
 programs has been designed to create awareness of implantable hearing
 devices and to help drive efficiencies at cochlear implant centers across
 the nation, allowing for more people to be benefit from the miracle of
     About Cochlear(TM) Americas
     Since launching the world's first cochlear implant system more than 20
 years ago, Cochlear Limited and its US headquarters, Cochlear Americas,
 have brought the miracle of sound to more than 75,000 hearing-impaired
 individuals across the globe. Cochlear's state-of-the-art technologies,
 based on extensive research and development at preeminent academic
 institutions, restore the ability to hear sound and understand
 speech-enhancing both learning capabilities and quality of life for those
 with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear has remained the market
 leader in its field thanks to an unwavering commitment to innovation,
 reliability and customer support. Numerous awards, as well as published
 scientific data, attest to Cochlear's outstanding product line and
 unsurpassed performance. Cochlear's promise "Hear now. And always" reflects
 its dedication to durability and service. For more information about
 Cochlear's products, call the Cochlear Nucleus Hotline at 800/458-4999
 (Voice) or 800/483-3123 (TTY) or visit the website at

SOURCE Cochlear Americas