Audiology Test FacilitiesMarch 19, 2021 | Audiology, Testing
Diagnosing and treating patients for possible hearing issues requires a controlled audiology testing facility or space. This space should be comfortable and relaxing for the patient being tested, be it adult or paediatric, and of course the audiologists themselves. For effective testing the room acoustics need to reduce background noise levels in line with ISO 8253-1 and HTM 2045 standards to ensure effective screening. Test results can be affected if sounds other than those administered intentionally during the test are audible and that is why soundproofing and acoustic audiology test rooms are so important.
The circumstances of the current pandemic have thrown up further concerns for staff and patients with many standard tests being rescheduled, to keep only essential services running, limiting potential exposure to patients being treated with Covid-19. Appointments are managed for a single patient access and the need for an isolated, comfortable, well-maintained and easy to clean testing space is even more important than before.
Antibacterial finishes provide disinfectable walls and ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring and HPV safe cleaning options allow even the most sophisticated acoustic testing spaces to be easily cleaned to a medical standard using traditional disinfectant products. Air disinfection systems with the use of UV-c LED lights sanitise the acoustically treated circulated airflow providing continuous disinfection while antimicrobial door ironmongery prevents 99.99% of virus, bacteria and mould growth. Combine all this with NHS and Government policy with regards to wearing masks and hand-washing and these testing spaces are very safe to use.
Audiology testing spaces come in various forms. The range typically begins with small, complete acoustic booths ready for immediate use that can be easily installed within an existing industrial or commercial workspaces for screening purposes. Larger higher performance hearing examination booths can be supplied as a complete solution with furnishings, electrical and mechanical components. Finally a complete custom acoustic audiology room or suite of rooms for more advanced testing requirements and specialist paediatric services are available as turnkey fit-out solutions.
Audiology booths typically have a quick and clean installation and the option to easily relocate at a low cost and with no loss in acoustic performance provides further flexibility. A fully designed and integrated audiology room provides a much larger testing space with greater versatility, options for higher acoustic performance, customised design features and more complex ventilation systems. Both options provide a safe and quiet testing environment and are available from IAC Acoustics with a range of finance options to help manage capital investments and cash flow through a lease rental service.
Mobile audiology units provide an interesting alternative as NHS facilities and estates managers consider how to manage health & safety during and post Covid-19 pandemic – the benefits of patients not having to enter the main hospital complex is likely an ongoing consideration where alternative options are available.
Mobile units can also be easily adapted to full diagnostic centres, conducting a range of tests such as x-rays, lung function and vision testing, providing multi function scope of use and cost benefit. They provide easy access for all user abilities and are perfect if permanent facilities do not exist or are currently unavailable, whilst also providing a supplement to existing facilities where space is becoming an issue. Bespoke in design to suit any specialist requirements, they are delivered on-site fully constructed and ready to use. Meeting all relevant audiology testing standards, they potentially provide a glimpse into the future provision of varied types of audiology facilities.
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