July 2019 Newsletter

Happy Independence Day! God Bless the USA!

Happy 4th of July to everyone celebrating our country’s independence but don’t forget to honor our veterans and current military who have served to ensure our FREEDOM! We know that freedom does not come free… there is a cost, as some gave all!  LET FREEDOM RING!

Independence Day

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.  Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, a long weekend to gather with relatives or friends. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are colored red, white, and blue. Parades are often held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, Americans spend more than $420,000,000 a year on fireworks. The figure doesn't include the amount of money private and government organizations buy for public shows. New York is one of the biggest fireworks displays.  Let’s all safely celebrate with food and family and fun, a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. Did you know that July was originally the month of Quintilis in the Roman calendar? It was the fifth month of the year until January and February were added in 450 BC. It got its original name from the Latin word for fifth. Later the name was changed to Julius in honor of Julius Caesar who was born on July 12.

Other things in July worth acknowledging:

National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month (NCCAPM)

An effort to raise awareness and improve understanding of birth defects of the head and face. Cleft lip and palate, is a congenital condition that happens in the first three months of pregnancy affects the upper lip and the hard and soft palate of the mouth. The problems with feeding and swallowing that occur as a result of clefts and craniofacial anomalies range in severity. The extent of clefting, as well as other structural, airway, and neurologic issues, are factors that contribute to potential difficulty with oral feeding mechanics and with the integrity of airway protection during swallowing. The month helps to reduce/remove the stigma associated with the condition by educating people on the condition.

National Wheelchair Beautification Month

Woohooo! Let’s decorate those chairs!!!

July 7 – Chocolate Day – Just July 7th?  Am I the only one who thought this was every day?

July 11 - Slurpee Day

July 17 – National Hot Dog Day – celebrate the dog days of summer

July 21 - National Ice Cream Day

Holiday Schedule

DiagnosTEX will run the day of July 4th but will be closed July 5th for a long weekend to celebrate and recognize our precious freedom, being thankful for all those who fought and sacrificed for this independence!  We wish everyone a safe fun-filled holiday!

July summer CEU opportunities with Ampcare

Register at www.ampcarellc.com

July 13 – Marshall, Texas

      Salt Lake City, UT

July 20 – Orlando, Fla

July 27 – Austin, Texas

HIPAA Violations! You may be violating HIPAA and you don’t even know it

A nurse at a Texas children’s hospital has been fired for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules by posting protected health information on a social media website. The pediatric ICU/ER nurse worked at Texas Children’s Hospital and posted a series of comments on Facebook about a case she was involved in. While the nurse did not post the child’s name on Facebook, her job was listed on her profile along with the hospital where she worked, and information about the boy and his condition. Due to the information contained in the posts and the rarity of the disease, it is possible that the child could have been identified. The patient does not need to be mentioned by name in order for them to potentially be identified. If any personally identifiable protected health information is posted on social media without consent first being obtained from the patient, it constitutes a violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. A good rule of thumb is to keep work and private lives separate, and never to post any information about patients on a social media platform, even if you do not think that a patient could be identified from the post. Someone might know who you are talking about and that alone is a HIPAA violation. For more information on this story go www.hipaajournal.com. The consequences of HIPAA violations can be extreme, including job loss, fines, loss of licensure, and legal sanctions or criminal charges. It is critical that healthcare professionals treat every digital interaction with the same care and formalized processes that would be taken if a patient were being treated in their facility.

Dysphagia Tidbit

Perception versus Performance of Swallow Function in Residents of Long-Term Care, June 2019American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, DOI: 10.1044/2019_AJSLP-18-0186 by Ashwini M Namasivayam-MacDonald, Catriona M Steele, Heather Keller

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if older adults residing in long-term care were able to accurately self-report their swallowing status by comparing subjective complaints of dysphagia and objective methods of swallowing screening. Method Data were collected from 397 residents of long-term care (M age = 86.8 years ± 7.8; 263 female). Cognitive impairment scores were collected, and each resident was asked (a) if they thought they had a swallowing problem, (b) if they coughed/choked when they ate, and (c) if they coughed/choked when they drank. These responses were compared to the results of a swallowing screening tool and mealtime observations of coughing and choking.

Results: Residents who reported swallowing difficulties (10%, n = 41) were 8 times more likely to fail the swallowing screening (p < .001); however, 80% of residents who failed the swallowing screening did not previously report that swallowing was an issue. There was no significant association between self-reports of coughing and choking at meals and observations. There was no difference in the level of cognition between residents who accurately reported swallowing status and those who were inaccurate.

Conclusions: Residents are largely unable to accurately self-report swallowing difficulties and also have difficulty accurately reporting incidences of coughing and choking. These findings suggest that concerted efforts are required to implement regular, formal swallowing screening protocols in long-term care to objectively identify those at risk.