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June 17, 2010

Reasor's Pharmacy First in Oklahoma to Aid Hearing Impaired

From: Supermarket News - Jun 17, 2010

TALLEQUAH, Okla. — Reasor’s here claims it is the first retailer in Oklahoma to offer a technology at its pharmacy window for hearing impaired patients.

The technology is the installation of an induction loop system that makes it easier for hearing impaired patients with telecoil-equipped hearing aids to communicate with the pharmacist.

With a thin wire placed around the listening area, a special amplifier and a microphone, the system broadcasts the desired sound as a magnetic signal, which in turn is picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid device. The system is in two of Reasor’s 15 locations and the retailer plans to expand the service to other stores.

Reasor’s advertises the service through signage at the pharmacy window. Customers are instructed to switch their hearing aid or cochlear device to the “T,” “T-Coil” or “telephone” position in order to receive high quality, amplified reproduction of the sound. The system nearly eliminates all background noise.

With the first baby boomers reaching age 65 this year — a segment with a high rate of hearing loss — Reasor’s recognized the need for such systems in order to better communicate with its patients. “Hearing impairment is on the rise for a variety of reasons and wellness and prevention are enhanced when all aspects of medication therapy and disease management are understood,” said Mike Dotson, Reasor’s director of pharmacy, in a press statement.

Dotson told SN the installations are a joint program with Hearing Loop Specialists, a company formed by a local audiologist to help those with hearing loss better communicate in public spaces. Under the program, it costs Reasor’s approximately $1,000 per installation, said Dotson. The technology is in widespread use in European countries rather than in the U.S., he noted.

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