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Karen Sheffler


Karen Sheffler has more than 23 years of experience as a medical speech-language pathologist, specializing in dysphagia since 1995, when she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has had her board certification as a swallowing specialist (BCS-S) since 2012.

In 2014, she started, which is a dysphagia resource for people with difficulty swallowing and professionals. Karen has worked in acute care, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, and home healthcare. She currently works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and owns her own dysphagia consulting business. She crafts lectures/webinars, which have had a global reach. She actively promotes dysphagia and dysphagia awareness on many social media platforms. She performs peer reviews for companies and organizations. Karen has provided dysphagia expert services to companies for years and expert witness services for law firms since 2016.

Believing in constant continuing education, she has been awarded the ASHA Award for Continuing Education seven times. She was awarded the Hormel Health Hero Award in 2019. She is a member of ASHA's Special Interest Group 13, the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD), and the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) where she was a member of the Website, Communications, and Public Relations Committee until April 2020. Currently, she cochairs the Public Relations & Communications Committee for the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (ABSSD). She has been promoting IDDSI since 2014; she became an IDDSI champion in 2016, and now she is a member of the US & Territories IDDSI Expert Reference Group (USTIRG) to assist with national adoption of the standardized dysphagia diet framework.

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Reframing Dysphagia Documentation With a Person-Centered Approach

Presented by Yvette McCoy, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S and Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Reframing Dysphagia Documentation With a Person-Centered Approach

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 99 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 44 Minutes

How we document has a profound influence on people with dysphagia (and their family/caregivers). Practicing and documenting in a person-centered care (PCC) approach shifts the focus away from the traditional medical model and moves toward personal choice and autonomy for people and their families. The individuals we serve are people before patients. This session will discuss how prudent and effective interdisciplinary documentation across the continuum of care can help delineate a person's wishes. Thorough documentation also describes underlying swallow pathophysiology, guides differential diagnosis, and provides a prescriptive therapy program that meets the goals of care of the person. Good collaboration and communication are the keys to providing care in a person-centered approach. Attendees will discover how this shared decision-making approach requires increased detail in documentation. Presenters will discuss the process of obtaining informed consent, which not only protects a healthcare provider in litigation, but also makes sure that the person arrives at their informed decisions voluntarily and without coercion.

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