Provide patient and/or family with education regarding aspiration precautions, and educational hand-outs.
During the first 2 months, while only 31 patients met diagnostic criteria for placement on Aspiration Precautions, 49 patients were placed on precautions.
The Aspiration Precaution Committee was comprised of an interdisciplinary group which included representatives from nursing, pharmacy, infection prevention, medicine, nutrition, performance improvement, and speech therapy.
As a result, the Aspiration Pneumonia Risk Assessment Screening Tool and Aspiration Precaution Protocol (see Figures 2 & 4) were crafted.
This training, aligned with the Aspiration Precaution Protocol, suggests a patient who is placed on the protocol be assisted and monitored closely during meals.
If a patient was identified as at high risk, as noted by the indicators on the Risk Assessment Screening Tool, the nurse would initiate the Aspiration Precaution Protocol and complete the second part of the screening tool (the Functional Assessment) (see Figure 2).
pockets food while eating), the nurse would maintain the Aspiration Precaution Protocol and initiate an NPO status (nothing by mouth) and a speech pathologist consultation.
When performing the risk assessment, nurses identified the need to have a concrete way of documenting implementation of the Aspiration Precaution Protocol on patients who met the criteria, and if warranted, that a speech pathology consult was placed.