Note from Speechie Apps: I am SO excited to have Tiffani Wallace of Dysphagia Ramblings guest blogging today! Tiffani is an SLP in an acute care hospital, the go-to expert on dysphagia in Twitter’s world of #slpeeps, and an app co-author. This post marks a couple different “firsts” for Speechie Apps: first guest blogger and first time having an app author explain her own app. The field of dysphagia is both complex and specific, and an unfortunate few apps have been developed for this area, so I was thrilled when Tiffani graciously agreed to this review. I think it provides a unique perspective that I would not be able to offer my readers by myself. She has given a wonderfully detailed description of the background of the app’s development, how the app works, tips on how to use it most successfully, and even a “cons” section! I can’t wait to hear what my readers think. Anyhow, enough of my blabbing! Check out her thoughts, give her and other readers some feedback, and DEFINITELY go buzz around her blog…
I feel extremely honored to have been asked to write a guest blog. I have written on my own blog for a couple of years now, but it just seems a little different (and maybe a little harder) to write on someone else’s blog! So first, I would like to thank Aubrey for this opportunity! I would also like to disclose that, I am a co-author of the app I am reviewing.
I have actually wanted to have this app created for several years now. My adventure with a dysphagia app began with my creation of a paper and pen based evaluation that I created, taking bits and pieces of information I have learned along the way and by tweaking information from previous evaluations I have previously used.
I wanted an app that would be an easy-to-use tool for bedside evaluations. I really also wanted something that would remind me to assess all those areas that I sometimes just forget to assess. This app was created to assist clinicians in assessing all areas for dysphagia and to complete a chart review that is as thorough as possible.
When you open the app, you will first begin by adding your patient information. You can save patients or you can bring up previous patient information. When adding a new patient, you will be prompted to input a Patient ID, Patient first name, Patient last name, Patient Date of Birth and Physician’s Name. If you are not comfortable adding a patient name, you can assign each patient a number or simply use initials.
Once you have added that patient, you can either view a saved report, or you can add a new evaluation. To begin the evaluation, you will select the chart review tab. The chart review will prompt you to input the reason for referral, physician order (yes or no), diagnosis, current method of nutrition, respiratory status, etc. There is also a text box that you can input any other pertinent information from your chart review. Don’t worry, new sections are being added to complete a more thorough chart review.
Once the chart review is completed, you can go assess the patient and begin to start the Oral Mech Exam. This will prompt you to input information regarding all the oral and pharyngeal areas that we assess, including the tongue, teeth, lips, etc.
Upon completion of the Oral Mech Exam, you will be able to assess trials. Either use the consistencies provided or skip the consistencies not used. For each consistency, you will be able to assess oral control of the bolus, pharyngeal stage of the swallow and add any comments needed.
Once the evaluation is complete, you can download the report and either print it wirelessly or email it to yourself and print it. You also have the option to email it to yourself and cut and paste into your computer-generated report if your facility has a report that is required to be completed.
A few tips to remember with this app, first and foremost, please make sure to lock your iPad with a passcode. This helps to ensure the privacy of the information that has been saved on your app and also helps to protect your valuable information that is stored on your iPad, should someone “borrow” it.
My “cons” for this app:
- We advertised a cranial nerve exam, however it was never added. I would love to see the cranial nerve section added to ensure a more complete evaluation.
- We need to add more text boxes to each section so that the SLP can add their own information, goals, etc.
- I have had issues with the app crashing in the middle of an eval. The nice thing is, I don’t lose the information I’ve entered when it crashes. It does make things a little inconvenient when you are working.
- I would love to change the lab values. We need to add more descriptions to each value and what a high or low level indicates.
I encourage anyone to give this app a try. If you purchase the app and find information you want or think needs to be changed, please feel free to contact SmartyEars to request the changes. Thank you to all those that have purchased the app and thank you for your honest comments!
Looking for expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!