Advocate Change for the Dangerously Low Percentage of Transitional Care Recommendations noted in Discharge Reports

SLP

There needs to be more support for increased awareness of the low percentage of hospital discharge reports that included Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) dietary, medication, postural  and other professional recommendations

I recently hosted and participated in on an online dysphagia conference conducted by ASHA (http://www.asha.org/)  the leading organization for speech language pathology. Its recent conference discussed a Transitional Care study by author Amy Kind focused on the dangerously low percentage of recommendations made by SLP’s that were included in hospital discharge papers.

Presenters included Jacqueline Hind, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-SUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Wm. S. MiddletonMemorial Veterans Hospital.

The study revealed the following:

  • SLP notes: averaged 5.6 recommendations
  • Hospital D/C notes: averaged 1.4 recommendations
  • All  Hospital D/C notes omitted:
  • 47% Dietary
  • 82% Postural
  • 95% Medication
  • 79% Care Provider
  • 100% Environment
  • 45% Overall

With the aging population, it is more important than ever to create awareness and education about swallowing issues for professionals including physicians and hospital discharge planners as well as private caregivers. Speech Language Pathologists are specialists in swallowing issues and their recommendations are crucial for a patient when they return home or to another facility.Omitting critical recommendations must end.

When a caregiver takes over the care of a loved one, advice from  professionals is a necessary step to helping the patient heal. Especially if they never experienced caregiving before. Patients can’t heal on liquid supplements alone. When a caregiver leaves the hospital, they need to ask the discharge planner if they included all the professional advice in their discharge notes. We can’t count on everything being included based on this study.

I created my brand,  Smoothe Foods to cater to those who have swallowing conditions with my line of pureed soft foods that are easy to swallow, as well as delicious, convenient and  nutritional. When my father left the hospital, no one gave my family any nutritional advice. It amazes me how nutrition is always omitted as unimportant. It is even more important when someone is ill.

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