February 2022 Newsletter
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.
Turn off the media and be kind to one another.
National “wear Red” Day (first Friday in February)
DiagnosTEX Website (www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com)
The website has been updated with all new 2022 paperwork. Please go there to download anything you need. While you are there visit the Barium Barista Café and look through our SHOP for some new products.
NEW DTEX SLP
We would like to welcome Kelly Sullivan M.S. CCC-SLP to DTEX. She brings a lot of knowledge and experience to this position and we believe she is a exciting asset to our team! She is also a US Veteran and we could not be prouder of her for her service to our country! Thank you, Kelly!
More February CEs:
Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare’s ESP™ (Effective Swallowing Protocol)
On-Demand + Zoom Webinar Tuesday & Wednesday, February 15-16, 11 am-1 pm CST (12-2 pm EST) 8 Hours Advanced ASHA CE
TSHA 66th Annual Convention & Exhibition is close! TSHA is scheduled to be back in Fort Worth February 24-26, 2022. – We are happy when it returns to our backyard! DiagnosTEX and Ampcare will there! Look forward to reconnecting with everyone! DiagnosTEX will be in booth 418, stop by, lots of goodies to share this year! Ampcare will be at booth 508. Reminder: Face masks are required for all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, vendors, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors during the Annual Convention.
Anyone having flashbacks of 2020? We are!
DiagnosTEX is still implementing all COVID policies and protocols and following CDC guidelines as they continue to change. Times can be stressful, but please know our attempts to schedule your patient is with the absolute BEST intentions. Patients are still our highest priority but so is safety for all involved!
Digital copy of MBSS
As is the standard with all imaging and hospital facilities DiagnosTEX began phasing out the free copies of digital images of the MBSS (DVD) to the home health and facilities this year. This will occur due to increasing cost, major supply issues, and more importantly, the unprecedented misuse of images on social media resulting in HIPAA and liability concerns for the patient. This portion of the medical record can always be requested and copies ordered by family for a charge of $10.00. I know some of you will be very disappointed with this change and we understand why. We apologize for the inconvenience but please know this was a very difficult decision that had to be made in this strange, unforgiving times, and often unprofessional use of the new high-tech society. Our small company has also been affected by all the other understaffed small and large companies. As Medicare reimbursement declined in 2022, and government benefits that have been handed out like candy, please do not take out your frustration on our employees who have chosen to work diligently throughout this pandemic to get all patients seen who needed to be seen. Like many others in in today’s new world, there are circumstances and frustrations that are out of our control. We always encourage all treating SLPs to attend the study if you anticipate any questions or concerns. As always, the evaluating SLP is available to discuss the evaluation and recommendations with you at any time. You can email any of our SLPs with the use of their first name and follow with @diagnostex.us.
Unpredictable Weather in Texas – It’s been a warm winter… so far!
Unfortunately, in Texas we typically do not get a beautiful flaky snowfall, we get ice (usually black ice which caused a horrible tragedy in FW and then the infamous SNOVID test our survival skills winter week) Our weather can change overnight and last 1 day or last multiple days! This kind of weather obviously becomes a problem for anyone who travels. Most of our daily routine is traveling extensively in all directions! As winter approaches and the threat of severe weather conditions arise, DiagnosTEX owners and drivers will evaluate the conditions of the roads and DiagnosTEX will contact all scheduled facilities immediately if we are unable to meet our appointments for that day. If the weather conditions are unsafe for driving, we will cancel the day and reschedule the studies as promptly as possible. Even though roads may be passable in one area, does not mean passing through another area to get there is possible and we have to take all routes and directions into consideration. We have precious cargo on board on mobile clinics, most importantly our staff!
Our promise to YOU as co-workers and our clients!
So called, professional social media sites, with all its benefits, also provides a vast opportunity to cause harm to many. Someone once told me that social media does not cause ignorance but it is sure good at documenting it and you see it daily. Unfortunately, there is a lot of defamation or disparagement in posts and the authors may be unaware but those they speak of are not. In the age of endless use of social media by treating SLPs, we have become keenly aware that despite our best effort to serve our community, and the deep care we have for each and every patient, we will never make everyone happy all the time. There will always be times where there is a difference of opinion. What all of society needs to learn is that, everyone needs to take the time to learn all sides of an issue and be able to encounter philosophies that we disagree with and have balanced conversations between those you disagree with. The trend is to find strangers to agree with your opinion, although their credentials and skill level is unknown on the world wide web.
As a company and fellow SLPs, there is one promise we will make to all of you. No matter what we personally think of you or your patient, your choice of therapy, your bedside evaluation and your diet recommendations, we will NEVER share our personal feelings or opinions about any SLP on a social media platform. As SLP’s who take very seriously what we do, we promise to always speak to you directly and to never ask for the opinion of the masses about what they think about you, your patient, your evaluation or your therapy skills.
We honor our ASHA code of ethics, HIPAA and most of all we genuinely respect our colleagues as individual’s and what they stand for as a treating therapist. May we ask the same from all of you?
Enteral Feeding with Patient in the Prone Position
Not an uncommon site in our field huh? But believe it or not this has exponentially increased in those COVID patients due to the effect on the lungs. If a patient has to be in prone position, there are precautions that should be taken to prevent aspiration. 1) ensure tube is placed prior to prone position. 2)Consult with dietary for flow rate and goals. 3)Also monitor for signs of nausea, stomach distention diarrhea etc. We can help educate staff and families on this.
Oral Care Facts
Did you know that the oral bacteria load increases during intubation? There are about 100 million bacteria on 1 cubic millimeter of dental plaque. It is no surprise dental plague scores always predict a risk of pneumonia. There are numerous research studies about oral pathogens directly aspirated into the lungs. Simple solutions are often the best. Oral swabs, toothettes and mouthwash by themselves do not adequately remove plague. It important to assist patients with oral care, set up supplies and elevate head of bed. Brushing teeth with water alone helps remove sticky film of germs, the use of toothpaste requires very little (pea size amount). Use suction if needed or have them spit in basin. Report and document any pain, sores, blisters, ulcers, discoloring, swelling, lumps, broken teeth or dentures and if there is zerostomia. Oral condition is important to swallowing! We can engage and train staff in this important aspiration pneumonia prevention.
Aspiration Pneumonia prevention: The Importance of Oral Care;, Munro, S, Murray, ASHA 2020