Patient Care

Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders: Using TEAM to optimize patient care

Some of the staff from the Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders: Front, from left: : Lisa Tainter, Tara Bommarito. Back, from left: Susan Rathgeb, Kaylyn Bacich, Meghan Smith, Lydia Beyer, Carol Rose. Not shown: Jacques Herzog, MD, Kristin Vierling, Carolyn Bequette, Kara Bowman, Jessica Kientzel

Established 25 years ago by neurotology specialist Jacques Herzog, MD, The Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders treats patients with all types of diseases of the ear and related structures – hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and much more.  Dr. Herzog founded the center with the goal of providing the best patient experience possible.

The tight knit group at the center includes physicians, nurses, medical assistants, patient service reps and audiologists. The goal to optimize patient care is something repeated over and over by both new and veteran staff members.

Jessica Kientzel has worked as a patient billing/services rep at the center for just a year. She loves the small group that allows everyone to develop great relationships with each other. Jessica says, “I love that everyone here strives to do everything they can for our patients.”

Lisa Tainter, a 22-year veteran medical assistant at the center explains why the small group setting is important. “We have the opportunity to establish one-on-one care with our patients,” she said. “I feel that I know each one of our patients well and in return the patients know me and can have the security of putting a face to a name they can contact with any medical need.”

Dr. Jacques Herzog, founder of the Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders.

A very successful private practice, the Center joined Washington University two years ago. Dr. Herzog explained, “The integration with the department [otolaryngology] allowed us to expand our services and not only provide state of the art care, but to further engage in new treatment protocols for the many complex problems we face.”

He credits a devoted staff in their successful integration, all while maintaining the highest levels of compassion and care for patients. “They have the highest level of ethical and compassion standards. I feel very fortunate and honored to be associated with each and every one of them,” he said.

That integration was not without hesitation for some who wondered if the small group dynamic would be lost, and patient care suffer as a result. As all can now claim, that hesitation didn’t last for long.

“We are still a tight-knit group,” says audiologist Susan Rathgeb. “It is exciting to have the opportunity to work and collaborate with the audiologists at Washington University because they are so highly regarded in the field.”

Fellow audiologist, Lydia Beyer echoed that sentiment, “we were a little nervous joining Washington University after being independent for so long, but the oto department made sure we felt welcome and included.”