Amplifon enters phase two with a new operative model developed with the collaboration of international virologists and audiologists
The protocol for store and office safety, outlined in collaboration with Giorgio Palù, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Virology at the University of Padua, and Alessandro Martini, Honorary Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Padua, has also been validated by the Italian Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics
Amplifon has confirmed its attention to the needs and well-being of its employees and customers in the current health emergency situation through the definition of a new operative model: a Protocol of safety measures to oppose the spread of COVID-19, developed with the collaboration of Professor Giorgio Palù and Professor Alessandro Martini, two of the leading international experts in Virology and Microbiology and Otolaryngology respectively.
The number one priority of the company, a global leader in hearing care retail, has always been to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers, who have been welcomed and cared for by hearing care professionals during Phase One of the emergency as well: in most of the 28 countries in which the company operates, including Italy, assistance to the hearing impaired people was considered by the authorities as an essential activity, suspension of which would have further increased the individual and social distress caused by isolation. Since the very beginning of the emergency, therefore, a strict operative protocol has been followed to ensure maximum compliance with physical distancing and all the best practices recommended by the main Italian and international public health authorities.
Today, in what is known as Phase Two, Amplifon is still going beyond the provisions of the law, adopting a new operative model in all its stores and management offices, developed with the aim of continuing to guarantee a distinctive experience and an essential service to citizens in absolute safety.
"I was called upon by Amplifon to identify procedures and measures - over and above those already established by current regulations - to make work management in Amplifon centres absolutely safe, preventing the spread of contagion from COVID-19" declared Professor Giorgio Palù. "Personally, it was a great pleasure to collaborate with Professor Martini and with the company, which has shown a highly professional approach and great commitment to protect its employees and customers as much as possible. In this challenging phase for our country – and not only - it has been a pleasure to make my experience in Virology and Microbiology available, - making a concrete contribution to the development of an effective Protocol".
All the recommendations and measures provided for in the Protocol are consistent with the international guidelines for the prevention of virus transmission (WHO, ECDC, EU) adopted by the Italian National Institute of Health and the Ministry of Health and with the regulations in force in Italy, based on the decrees issued by both the Presidency of the Council and the Regions. The rules of the operative model protect all company's stakeholders and, in particular, the over-70s population, which accounts for a significant portion of customers and more often requires audiological assistance and hearing aids to maintain the best possible quality of life.
"Guaranteeing the health and safety of people is an essential objective for a doctor: for this reason I immediately agreed to support Amplifon, together with Professor Palù, in developing a Protocol which, on the basis of the national legislation in force in Italy, would provide for simple but effective procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 contagion as much as possible" says Professor Alessandro Martini. "I believe that working in a team to foster prevention and compliance with the recommended guidelines, providing valuable guidance to everyone - Amplifon operators and customers - is an excellent way to apply what I have learned in my decades of experience as a doctor, in Audiology and Otolaryngology".
The company has made every effort to implement all the measures that have proved effective in counteracting and containing the spread of COVID-19 to the best of its ability, while ensuring a high quality of care for people with hearing impairment and optimising certain processes. The efficient service and the absolute safety of the store visit are guaranteed by Amplifon staff, who have been adequately trained: each hearing care professional had a personalised and dedicated training plan.
Amplifon's commitment and attention is not only focused on the stores: the Company has taken an all-round focus on its employees and workplaces, always thanks to guidelines set with the collaboration of Professor Palù and Professor Martini. The staff will return to the headquarters in Milan in a progressive and controlled way from 8 June, while continuing to take advantage of the opportunity of smart working every other day and respecting distances between desks, both in the canteen and in the other common areas, all equipped with special sanitising detergents. It will be possible to "map" risk interactions by dividing employees into fixed teams. From the use of the lifts to the car parks, all access to the building will be completely reorganised: all entrances will be equipped with heat scanners to read body temperature. All employees at the headquarters will be trained on-line and provided with a weekly kit consisting of certified masks (to be changed twice a day, and which will then be disposed of by the company) and personal sanitising gel, to be used several times throughout the day. Business trips and travel will be limited to what is strictly necessary within Italy, pending the resumption of normal international travels.
From today, the company will not only reopen its offices, but will also be back on TV with a special campaign and a thank you message to the people, employees and clients, who even in this delicate phase have never stopped offering the highest standards of service to ensure the care and safety of the over 7 million Italians (12% of the population) who suffer from hearing loss.
“Since the beginning of the epidemic, our top priority has always been to safeguard the health of all our people and ensure the continuity of our activities: a service considered essential in many of the 28 countries in which we operate worldwide. A service that we have made safer every day thanks to the adoption of extraordinary measures in the store protocols, developed with the valuable collaboration of Prof. Palù and Prof. Martini. For 70 years now, Amplifon has been a pioneer in revolutionising hearing care thanks to the expertise of its employees, and the values that inspire them every single day to fully understand the needs of each and every customer. And of course, thanks to our customers who have never stopped considering us as their point of reference, even in these months when we have been distant, yet united by constant dialogue and increasingly innovative technologies", concludes Enrico Vita, Chief Executive Officer of Amplifon Group.