Speech-Language Pathology In Health Care
7. Emphasis on Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)*
Patients, payers, and other medical professionals are more frequently questioning the research supporting various interventions. SLPs, like other professionals, must ensure the provision of services supported by the best available evidence and be aware of the principles of EBP.
Impact on Speech-Language Pathologists
The multiple changes noted above have led to complex effects on how speech-language pathologists carry out their job duties. Among these effects, the only constant has been a state of flux, with clinicians forced to rethink their goals and objectives on an ongoing basis. The effect on speech-language pathologists includes: shifts in patient service delivery, changes in staffing patterns, and role changes. Discussion of the consequences of these changes in health care on the practice of speech-language pathology in the acute care hospital setting …show more content…
Documentation must: * Be more concise and less redundant * Be directed to the question being asked * Address only essential information contributing to patient management and team issues and concerns * Be more automated * Conform to HIPAA standards (for covered entities)
As noted, consequences to speech-language pathologists involve changes in referrals, workload, productivity, type of service delivery, staffing patterns, and documentation. Therefore, it is critical for speech-language pathologists in the acute care setting to understand their role as consultants, which involves "integration of the pieces" and the concept of "patient management" rather than "direct treatment."
Integrating Patient Issues
The speech-language pathologist in this setting is responsible for integrating relevant patient issues and variables into clinical decision making. The following factors must be considered. * Communication and swallowing diagnoses * Etiology and previous medical conditions * Previous functional level and social situation * Severity of