Nicole Klutz

Inside FCC…Exploring Hearing Loss and Its Impact on the Family

By Nicole Klutz, Au.D., Phonak Audiology Manager

Over the past decade we have seen a shift in delivery models and behavior in hearing healthcare.  It no longer defines the best standard of care as one that focuses solely on the patient and their needs, but rather takes into account the entire family ecosystem.

We know that the family plays a critical role in the intervention and treatment of a family member with hearing loss, and several studies have substantiated the numerous advantages of this type of approach1.

Benefits of FCC

Family-centered Care (FCC) is built upon the foundational belief that a disease (i.e., hearing loss) does not only affect the individual patient, but also the communication partner(s) around them. FCC is an extension of patient-centered care that places greater emphasis on the role of the family.

Direct benefits include increased family member input and support into rehabilitation decision-making, improved provision of information to both patients and family members, and importantly, the provision of emotional support for the patient2.

During a time where delivery models are rapidly changing in audiology and healthcare, implementing FCC can aid hearing healthcare professionals in differentiating themselves by using the new, best standard of care.

FCC allows hearing care professionals to stay relevant by providing good counseling skills and an inclusive rehabilitation process that cannot be replaced by computers or apps on a patient’s phone.

Using FCC During Better Hearing & Speech Month

As May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, use FCC as a way to explore the impact of hearing loss not only on your patients but also their families. Use FCC to discuss holistic treatment options and outcomes for the entire family.Joe Montano, Ed.D, CCC-A

Challenge yourself or encourage your staff to start using FCC more in your office. It is easier than you think, and we know that the positive results and successful outcomes for your patients will make you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I start this sooner?”

“Don’t worry, it will not take any more time than your traditional techniques; it will just be time used in another
way. The outcome, however, will be very different.” —Joe Montano, Ed.D, CCC-A3

Other Articles of Interest

Mythbusters Myth No. 1: I Would Like to Do More Counseling But Time Just Won’t Allow for It

Mythbusters Myth #2: I Will Be Expected to Be a Marriage Counselor

Mythbusters Myth #3: “Many Patients Do Not Want Their Family in the Room”

Mythbusters’ Myth #4: I Have to Discuss the Audiogram


References (websites accessed May 15, 2018)



Nicole Klutz

Nicole joined Phonak in 2013. Originally from the East Coast, she grew up in Maine and moved to the Midwest in 2009 to complete graduate schooling at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. An avid outdoors enthusiast, Nicole spends a majority of her free time in the water, woods or on the road traveling with her two dogs and husband. As a part of the audiology team at Phonak, Nicole enjoys spending time teaching and training on new products and their benefits as well as continuing to build upon the audiological foundation of Phonak.