Have you heard of IDDSI? It stands for International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative. It is a framework to standardize terminology and definitions for food textures and liquid thicknesses in order to avoid confusion often created by different names used to describe texture modified foods and thickened liquids. The IDDSI framework includes characteristics and examples of food or liquid at each level, testing methods, as well as photos and videos of the testing methods. ASHA announced its support for this standardization last spring.
In the U.S., many started the aware phase, some are in the prepare phase, and a few began the adopt phase. Implementation tips are listed below with a detailed outline available online:
Tips for starting implementation include:
- Become familiar with IDDSI. Download the free app available for iOS and Android platforms.
- Decide who will participate on the implementation/leadership team(s). In some settings, this team is composed of the head of speech-language pathology and the head of clinical nutrition. In others, food service controls new programs. Yet at others it’s all three.
- Who is the administrator to approve commencement of the IDDSI framework implementation at your facility/network? This may well be a vice president, a regional director or another appropriate administrator within your organization.
- Who are the next level of target supporters? Once you identify the leadership team, who else can support implementation? In many settings, SLPs and registered dietitians might fill this role. Some places rely on food service managers for overseeing the process. (ASHA leaderlive blog, Luis F. Riquelme)
Further information, including specifics about the IDDSI framework, Steps for implementation, and more, including resources are available at the website: http://iddsi.org/
The ASHA Blog LeaderLive link, which includes link to other resources and the IDDSI webpage, and further information can be found here.
Jennifer Callahan, SLP, MSP-CCC
Clinical Operations Specialist