, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 49–61 | Cite as

Omission of Dysphagia Therapies in Hospital Discharge Communications

  • Amy Kind
  • Paul Anderson
  • Jacqueline Hind
  • JoAnne Robbins
  • Maureen Smith
Original Article


Despite the wide implementation of dysphagia therapies, it is unclear whether these therapies are successfully communicated beyond the inpatient setting. The aim of this study was to examine the rate of dysphagia recommendation omissions in hospital discharge summaries for high-risk subacute care (i.e., skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation, long-term care) populations. We performed a retrospective cohort study that included all stroke and hip fracture patients billed for inpatient dysphagia evaluations by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and discharged to subacute care from 2003 through 2005 from a single large academic medical center (N = 187). Dysphagia recommendations from final SLP hospital notes and from hospital (physician) discharge summaries were abstracted, coded, and compared for each patient. Recommendation categories included dietary (food and liquid), postural/compensatory techniques (e.g., chin tuck), rehabilitation (e.g., exercise), meal pacing (e.g., small bites), medication delivery (e.g., crush pills), and provider/supervision (e.g., 1-to-1 assist). Forty-five percent of discharge summaries omitted all SLP dysphagia recommendations. Forty-seven percent (88/186) of patients with SLP dietary recommendations, 82% (93/114) with postural, 100% (16/16) with rehabilitation, 90% (69/77) with meal pacing, 95% (21/22) with medication, and 79% (96/122) with provider/supervision recommendations had these recommendations completely omitted from their discharge summaries. Discharge summaries omitted all categories of SLP recommendations at notably high rates. Improved post-hospital communication strategies are needed for discharges to subacute care.


Care management Communication Continuity of care Hospital discharge Deglutition Deglutition disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Kind
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paul Anderson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jacqueline Hind
    • 2
    • 5
  • JoAnne Robbins
    • 2
    • 5
  • Maureen Smith
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Geriatrics Section, Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, United States Department of Veterans AffairsMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  4. 4.University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section, Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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