July 2021 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!
Its July! We are getting closer!
We are approaching the year-and-a-half mark of the globe’s collective experience with the COVID virus and the pandemic it triggered. At this point, it’s fair to assume people all over the world are asking the same two questions: How will this end? And when? Other pandemics, such as Influenza, have had abrupt endings to their waves, dying out in any given location in a matter of weeks. That has not been the case with Covid. Instead, our human behavior — shutdowns and re-openings — appear to be driving patterns. DiagnosTEX will continue to follow infection control policies just as we also have, with PPE and effective cleaning and disinfecting. We are still not entering any facilities, and require facility staff to meet us at the door with the patient when we arrive. We are now allowing 1 observer per van, and the observer must be masked and stand in the stairway of the van. If you attend a study, please do not sit in any of the staff chairs at this time. We are excited to interact facemask to facemask with everyone and happy to have you on board again!
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. 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?
Although DiagnosTEX remained operational throughout the entire pandemic, as you, we were not unaffected by the pandemic. Facility lockdowns resulted in reduced referrals in turn resulting in reduced van days. To this day, we are still building back van days as the referral numbers increase, but we are still not at a 2019 status operational status. With less van days available a week, it has required us to tighten our clinic routes and some geographical areas are not visited as often as they were before the pandemic (February 2020 and earlier). We care very much about getting all of our patients seen in a timely manner, but the look of this may be a little different than 2019, since remnants of COVID still affect us all. Thank you for your understanding and patience, this past year and half has been an uncomfortable adjustment for all of us. Thank you all who have continued to be supportive what we do here and teaming with us and we struggle through so many changes. We are looking forward to seeing you more and more! Your
patients are our top priority!
DiagnosTEX Scheduling Paperwork
I look back on when we started DiagnosTEX in 2003 and how much healthcare has changed. I don’t even recognize it sometimes. Nevertheless, to survive in the healthcare industry, flexibility is the name of the game, but so is documentation. One of the strange phenomenon of the pandemic for us here at DiagnosTEX is the increased amount of incomplete paperwork we are receiving from MD offices and referring SLPs. Unfortunately, we only get 1-2 pages at a time. As a physician’s office, we are technically not in the “plan or care” without a MD order and the patient will not be put on our pending list to be scheduled without a complete chart. Our staff is very diligent in following up every 2 days on any paperwork we are lacking. Please know, this is not to bother you or anyone else, it is purely our commitment to expedite the process so each and every patient can be seen as quickly as possible.
Once DiagnosTEX receives an MD order, we are now technically in the plan of care, but insurance will still need to be verified. Legally we are responsible to act on this order and will schedule with the facility as quickly as we have availability to do so. In this new culture of healthcare, if we are unable to reach or get a response from the referring SLP by phone or text on the day we are trying to schedule, our company policy is that we will reach out to the onsite RN overseeing the patient and schedule directly with the facility when we are in the area to avoid delay in the ordered evaluation.
Tracheostomy VS Total Laryngectomy – Do you know the difference?
- Upper airway is maintained
- Can voice with a PMV
- Higher risk of silent aspiration and dysphagia
- Total Neck breathers
- Use of PMV would be fatal – pt. not appropriate EVER
- Physically unable to aspirate. Trachea and esophagus are permanently separated. Exception: presence of a tracheoesophageal fistula.