Ann Kelly – My Lyric Experience Attending the Australian Phonak Lyric National Summit in Melbourne

Arriving a few days early allowed me to tour the sights of Melbourne and acclimatise to the big time difference between here and my home.  As the evening draws in Melbourne, everyone in Dublin is just about finishing their morning coffees!

I’ve been blown away by this amazing city during my time here. With a population of over 5 million – larger than the population of the whole of Ireland – it is the most vibrant, positive and multicultural place that I have ever visited. With amazing cuisine from so many nationalities and numerous trendy coffee spots, there was plenty to ease any jet lag! As well as offering great culture and sport, it hosts some stunning skyscrapers and the beautiful State Library, which was the perfect choice to host the summit.

I was both excited and anxious prior to the summit, but was made to feel so welcome by the Lyric Australia team; Brooke Hanby, Annmarie Linder, Katherine Toates and Joanna, as well as all the Australian Lyric providers present. 

Meeting up with the Lyric team on the eve of the summit for dinner gave us our first opportunity to share experiences.  Australia has given so much to Audiology over the years, with groundbreaking advances that are adopted around the globe. It brought us the world’s first Cochlear Implant surgery on a human in 1978, carried out in Melbourne, the fitting formulae from the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) and, in more recent years, the influence of Louise Hickson in rehabilitative Audiology and family centred care.

In the first session, Brooke offered a warm welcome and outlined the support available to providers, including a monthly ‘Ask the Expert’- where a different expert hosts each session and offers providers with helpful advice and important information.

There are currently 60 Lyric providers in Australia. Although this number is set to reduce as they look to adapt their service model to ensure users get the highest quality customer experience throughout their time wearing Lyric.

Kelly Koreck, a KOL from Adelaide, conveyed her passion and commitment that has made her an extremely successful fitter. Kelly approach is simple, she sees everyone as being suitable for Lyric. She also shared very useful tips for self-fit guidelines.

Keith Chittleborough from Melbourne, who was one of the first Lyric fitters in Australia in 2011, shared insights into managing ear health issues.

Following a break, Dominic Power, an Audiologist who lectures at the University of Melbourne and fits Lyric at the University’s clinic, shared research results from their recent study on the benefits of Lyric and tinnitus compared to daily wear devices.

In my presentation, I started with my journey with Lyric. When I started with Lyric in 2013, it was like nothing we had before. By being committed to offering the best care for Lyric clients, I learned more and my clients appreciated the level of attention I offered each and every one of them. It became about offering a service, more than selling a product. It helped distinguish our clinic and resulted in more clients opting for premium products.

I shared an interesting case study of a client who presented with unilateral hearing loss, recruitment and very bad tinnitus, accompanied by migraine headaches and neck pain. The degree of loss and poor speech discrimination would have traditionally encouraged me to consider CROS or a device with a masker option. The client’s main priority was to try and reduce tinnitus. When I fitted Lyric on the first day, they felt the tinnitus level immediately reduced.

In subsequent appointments (one week, three weeks and two months later), the benefits continued to grow and the headaches and neck pain disappeared completely. Being a neurologist, the client was aware that these can occur secondary to tinnitus. They attributed the improvements entirely to Lyric and this has continued over the past three years.

It was wonderful to get first-hand insight from Lyric wearer, Haydn Ryan. It is Lyric wearers themselves who stimulate us to keep on trying to improve.

After lunch in the beautiful library, I got to meet more providers to swap and share stories.

Brooke then gave a presentation on the option of Self Replacement, when it may be appropriate and what is the best protocol to follow.

This was following by a workshop, where providers were also given the opportunity to share their ‘wish list’. We always want more! And it’s exciting to hear further improvements in the devices are forecast.

Marketing updates from Katherine Toates were particularly interesting for me, especially when hearing how we can grow awareness of Lyric to those who may benefit from having it. The best way to adopt this thought process is to go back to Kelly Koreck’s approach that everyone is suitable for Lyric!

A panel discussion with the KOLs brought up many interesting discussions too; and offered a fantastic platform for all the Lyric providers in the room to improve their own Lyric services.

The Lyric awards finished the day’s event. It’s always rewarding to be recognised for one’s efforts and achievements that they bring!

It was a truly fantastic and stimulating day. Thank you to everyone, most especially to Brooke… what an amazing lady!

With the day event completed, it was off to get ready for the evening networking event. I met so many lovely people, sharing their insights into their different approaches. It was evident we all learn best together.

It was wonderful event that I was truly honoured to be invited to.  I’m grateful to have made some valuable new contacts, as well as some great memories to keep.