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Conducting Adult Clinical Swallowing Examinations via Telehealth

presented by Clare Burns, BSpPath, PhD, CPSP and Elizabeth (Liz) Ward, BSpThy(Hons), Grad Cert Ed, PhD, FSPAA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Professor Elizabeth Ward is an employee of Queensland Health and The University of Queensland and receives royalties from Plural Publishing and grant funding from numerous funding schemes. She also receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Professor Elizabeth Ward has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Financial: Dr. Clare Burns is an employee of Queensland Health and receives grant funding from numerous funding schemes. She also receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Dr. Clare Burns has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 87 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 35 Minutes

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more clinicians have needed to use telepractice to support the management of dysphagia (swallowing impairment); however, many lack knowledge of the existing evidence for this practice model and are unaware of the ways to deliver this service. This course will present the context and drivers for using telehealth to deliver clinical swallowing examinations (CSEs) and will review the current evidence for this model of care. It will outline the key elements of the model, including the equipment setup and how to prepare the patient and personnel involved. There will also be discussion of the various ways you can use this model to conduct dysphagia assessments of patients within a facility (e.g., testing patients who are in isolation rooms via telehealth), patients located in other facilities (e.g., clients in a smaller hospital where no speech-language pathology services are available), and patients at home. Video demonstrations will be used to help the learner understand how to deliver this model of care. This course is applicable for speech-language pathologists, particularly those who provide adult dysphagia services; any person who may be involved as the support person in a telehealth CSE service; and people in management roles supporting speech-language pathology services.

Meet Your Instructors

Clare Burns, BSpPath, PhD, CPSP

Dr. Clare Burns is an advanced speech pathologist and clinician research fellow at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland, and an honorary senior lecturer at The University of Queensland, Australia (UQ). She has more than 20 years of clinical experience and, over the last 12 years, has conducted research in speech pathology and technology-enabled healthcare.…

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Elizabeth (Liz) Ward, BSpThy(Hons), Grad Cert Ed, PhD, FSPAA

Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Ward is the director of the Centre for Functioning and Health Research (CFAHR) in Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health, and a professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, Australia. She is a leading international clinical researcher with more than 350 publications and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Clinical Context and the Evidence for Using Telehealth

In this chapter, learners will discover the traditional drivers for using telehealth to support dysphagia management, as well as the new drivers created by the pandemic. They will also become aware of the evidence supporting the use of telehealth to deliver clinical swallowing examinations. This chapter will ensure that clinicians understand how telehealth can assist in the delivery of dysphagia services and that they become more aware of the evidence supporting this model.

2. Components of a Clinical Swallow Examination (CSE) via Telehealth

Chapter 2 outlines the core elements (e.g., lighting, sound, technology) and considerations (e.g., patient safety) that are needed to be able to conduct a clinical swallow examination via telehealth. Following completion of this chapter, the learner will be able to recognize the key elements needed to optimize and safety conduct a clinical swallow examination via telehealth.

3. Preparing the Patient and Assistant/Support Person

A key consideration when using telehealth to deliver clinical swallow examinations is ensuring you have adequately prepared all personnel involved, including the patient. In this chapter, tips and suggestions to optimize patient engagement will be discussed, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the support person. Following this chapter, the learner will be aware of how to prepare and engage both the patient and the support person in this model.

4. Delivering a Clinical Swallow Examination (CSE) via Telehealth

The content of this chapter will cover the process of conducting a clinical swallow examination via telehealth, supported by video demonstrations. It will provide clinicians with the practical knowledge for how to safely deliver a clinical swallow examination (CSE) via telehealth.

5. Adapting the Model to Suit Different Clinical Contexts

There are many different purposes for delivering a clinical swallowing assessment via telepractice. This model may be used to assess patients within your facility who are in isolation (e.g., COVID-positive patients), to assess patients in another facility that does not have speech-language pathology services (e.g., smaller rural hospitals), or to assess patients who are at home. After completing this chapter, the learner will understand how to adapt the model to meet these different service contexts.

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