Quick Response Yields Policy Change Clinicians in Virginia Collaborate to Reverse Endoscopy Restrictions ASHA News
Free
ASHA News  |   October 01, 2010
Quick Response Yields Policy Change
Author Notes
  • Janice Brannon, director of state special initiatives, can be reached at jbrannon@asha.org.
    Janice Brannon, director of state special initiatives, can be reached at jbrannon@asha.org.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Healthcare Settings / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   October 01, 2010
Quick Response Yields Policy Change
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 1-25. doi:10.1044/leader.AN5.15122010.1
The ASHA Leader, October 2010, Vol. 15, 1-25. doi:10.1044/leader.AN5.15122010.1
Thanks to some immediate action by ASHA members, a new policy limiting Virginia speech-language pathologists’ ability to perform fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) was quickly overturned.
SLPs at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredricksburg, Va., noted an action in the posted minutes of the June 3, 2010, meeting of the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology: A motion had been made and passed that created a FEES policy that stated “a speech-language pathologist cannot perform FEES unless properly trained and in the presence of a physician.”
The concerned ASHA members raised the issue with representatives of ASHA and the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV). They were alarmed about the requirement to have a physician in the room every time an SLP performed a swallowing evaluation. According to ASHA policy documents, endoscopic procedures are part of the scope of practice for appropriately trained and experienced SLPs and may be performed independently without compromising patient safety.
ASHA, SHAV, and many concerned members worked together to call on the Virginia Board to hold public hearings and to revise this policy. The Board, under mounting pressure, agreed to hold a special Aug. 11 meeting. The groups collaborated to provide public testimony and written comments that clearly and decisively established evidence of the safe, independent performance of endoscopy by trained SLPs. The Virginia Board agreed with the evidence and immediately passed a new motion to revise the guidance document, which now states:
“It is the opinion of the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology that a speech-language pathologist (SLP), who is specially trained, may perform FEES pursuant to a physician order and under the general supervision [no clarification given] of a physician provided there are protocols in place for emergency response.”
Fast action, collaboration, and strong evidence generated a successful outcome for Virginia SLPs.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2010
Volume 15, Issue 12