Headquarter's Report: The Road to Autonomy Requires More than One Vehicle: Drivers Wanted

Author: Stephanie Czuhajewski, ADA Executive Director

Driving autonomous practice in a meaningful way will require multiple vehicles deployed simultaneously to deliver best clinical and business practices, high educational and ethical standards, and professional parity and patient access.

Autonomy Requires Advocacy, Education and Professional Development

ADA and its partners are working to achieve autonomy through advocacy as outlined in the 18x18 Initiative. There are also two other vehicles in the fleet that is advancing autonomous practice; education and professional development. Advocacy, education and professional development work in unison to support each other and forward autonomy.

The Road Ahead

The recommendations outlined in ADA’s 2008 landmark paper, Ensuring Audiology’s Future in Healthcare: Owning the Profession through a Culture of Practice Ownership1 are relevant and forward thinking, so ADA is using them as a roadmap. They are as follows:
  • Continually identify and promote best business practices for practice owners.
  • Provide access to continuing education and networking opportunities that focus on business knowledge and learning for current practice owners and their employees.
  • Create, promote and define professional ownership mentoring opportunities (for both peer-to-peer and owner-student pairs).
  • Develop and promote descriptions of practice ownership alternatives that are feasible, affordable, and address the current and future concerns of all partners and owners, buyers and sellers, as well as the needs of those beginning a new practice.
  • Provide professional socialization that promotes the desire to own the profession through practice ownership to current and future students in audiology training programs.
  • Establish business education opportunities for current wage-employed practitioners desiring or considering practice ownership.
  • Make business education and peer support accessible and affordable in both real and virtual communities.
  • Expose all audiology students to practice ownership through clinical rotations in audiologist-owned practices.
  • Create an ADA Member Preceptor Training and Placement Program which simultaneously meets the needs of the preceptor, student and educational institution.
  • Ensure quality of training programs and audiology graduates through support of the ACAE accreditation process.
In 2014, ADA will embark on several strategic initiatives and deliver new resources that support the principles outlined above, including:
  • Creation of a comprehensive practice resource library featuring off-the-shelf products including practice forms, HR documents and business templates.
  • Development of the ADA Young Professional Leadership Training Program
  • Collaboration with ACAE to promote ACAE accreditation to university programs
  • Expansion of ADA Practice Match and Extern Exchange to facilitate activities related to preceptorship/externship, practice buying and selling and employment in a private practice setting
  • Expansion of the ADA Student Business Plan Competition
  • Expansion of ADA’s Virtual Student Chapter and associated student resources
  • Introduction of the ADA Guide to Practice Management
  • Study and development of recommended models of practice that will be useful for audiologists
Drivers Wanted

Don’t just come along for the ride—get in the driver’s seat. If you are interested in helping to develop or implement any of these planned projects, please contact ADA headquarters at info@audiologist.org or at 866-493-5544. We will be glad to connect you with the working groups, task forces and committees that are transporting audiology to its autonomous future.    
1 Engelmann, L. et al (2008) Ensuring Audiology’s Future in Healthcare: Owning the Profession through a Culture of Practice Ownership. 10