In Quality in Audiology, Dr Brian Taylor has grappled with an aspect of audiology about which I am passionate, and in doing this he has covered a lot of ground. He starts by trying to define quality – which in our field can often be problematic. I appreciate his approach to this, and also his approach as a whole.
He takes the patient journey from first contact with a potential patient through to aftercare, and considers how we can improve the pathway and add value – and therefore improve the quality of our patients’ experience. He covers front of house, clinical quality and financial matters, all from the same clear perspective. His approach is coherent and cohesive throughout the book.
Now to the criticisms. Am I his target audience for this book? As head of a fairly large audiology service, yes. But, as someone practising outside the USA, no. I was prepared for a fair proportion of the book to be about commercial aspects which aren’t relevant to someone working in a public healthcare system. I was prepared for the focus to be on the financial systems of the USA, and rooted in its education and training system. This was still of interest (if only academic) – although, if I had been less familiar with the American systems, I may well have found these muddied the waters. My main issue here concerned numerous cultural references that translate poorly outside the USA. For example, using comparisons with American football, baseball or American TV infomercials to illustrate a point are somewhat lost on an international audience.
But my biggest criticism of the book is of the editing. I found there to be paragraphs that don’t make sense, missing words, figures incorrectly labelled and cross-references to subject matter that didn’t make it into the final draft. This sadly undermines the rest of the book.