SA-1: Development and Implementation of Clinical Protocols in Audiology


The use of standard practice protocols is recommended in the context of clinical audiology. Protocol documents are vital because they streamline and operationalize evidence-based best practices so that clinical activity is predictable across practitioners, clinics, and regions. As a result, individuals with hearing loss have the best opportunity to receive high quality care and achieve good outcomes, regardless of who or where they are seen. In addition, standard practice protocols enable the evaluation of patient and clinical/program outcomes to support clinical research.

The development of clinical protocols is a challenging task that involves a review of the evidence, knowledge of current clinical practice procedures, their feasibility and utility, and the tools needed to execute them. Development requires collaboration among researchers and clinicians. Standard practice protocols are different from other scientific writings in that they provide the step-by-step processes required for the audiologist to execute the clinical activity appropriately. This presentation will describe an integrated knowledge translation approach used for the development and implementation of clinical protocols using examples from a hearing health system in Ontario, Canada.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the difference between a guideline and a protocol.
  • Explain the knowledge-to-action cycle.
  • Discuss the benefits and limitation to developing a clinical protocol